South Australia: Fisherman convicted for exceeding shark catch limits
Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA)
19. February 2013
Commercial fisher convicted for exceeding shark limits
A commercial fisher has been convicted and fined for a series of fisheries offences, including 20 counts of exceeding School and Gummy Shark trip limits.
Alan John Robertson of Cape Jervis, pleaded guilty in Port Lincoln Magistrates Court in early February, and was convicted for exceeding catch limits as well as five counts of using a vessel not endorsed on his fishing licence.
The 59 year-old commercial fisherman illegally caught and sold in excess of 150 Gummy sharks between March and July 2012.
Mr Roberston received total fines and costs of $24,800 and 100 demerit points were allocated against his Marine Scalefish Fishery licence.
PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture, Regional Manager, Mr Randel Donovan said the behaviour of the fisherman was extremely disappointing.
“Commercial fishers have an obligation to their industry and the community to ensure they comply with fishing rules and licence conditions to support the sustainability of the fishery,” Mr Donovan said.
“This deliberate conduct to exceed shark trip limits over a lengthy period of time is deserving of significant penalties to act as a deterrent to other fishers.”
Mr Donovan said it is also important for vessels used in a commercial fishing capacity to be endorsed on fishing licences.
“It is vital to the proper management of the fishery to know which vessels are being used in the fishery under a commercial licence,” he said.
“In addition, commercial vessels need to be surveyed and checked by the Department for Transport, Planning and Infrastructure to ensure their safety and suitability before being endorsed on a licence.”
Commercial fishers are subject to a demerit point system, where the accrual of more than 200 points within five years will result in a loss or suspension of their fishing licence or boat registration.
Illegal or suspicious fishing activity can be reported to FISHWATCH on 1800 065 522. Callers can remain anonymous