Two punished for illegal fishing

On Thursday December 5 in Rockingham Magistrates Court, Hopeland man Paul Clifford Brahim was sentenced for offences related to rock lobster fishing over past recreational seasons, including black market sale, interference with commercial pots, excess bag limit, pulling too many pots, using an illegal pot and pulling rock lobster pots when not being the licence holder.

Brahim was ordered to pay $23,106.35 and was given 11 conditional release orders of $500 each, which would be payable should he commit further offences within 12 months.

Co-offender Dax Thomas Petley from Serpentine was ordered to pay $4129.35 for related offences. The magistrate issued him with two $500 conditional release orders.

The court was told the men were apprehended on December 23, 2012, but it also heard that officers’ investigations had uncovered offences committed by Brahim dating back to December 2011.

Brahim was charged with the illegal sale of 10 western rock lobsters at $15 each in December last year and the attempted sale of 22 rock lobsters in December 2011.

Commenting after the court hearing, supervising Fisheries and Marine officer at Rockingham Darren Schofield said the successful prosecutions involved detailed investigations.

‘Amongst the illegal fishing activity detected were a number of offences where the men had pulled rock lobster pots, for which they were not the licence-holders; a practice which angers both commercial and recreational rock lobster fishers,’ Mr Schofield said.

It was stated that the illegal fishing ctivity occurred west of a location known as Sisters in the Safety Bay/Port Kennedy area.

Anyone who has information on illegal fishing activities should call the FISHWATCH reporting line on
1800 815 507.