Night vision nets illegal NSW fisher

NSW DPI Fisheries officers crack down on illegal fishing on Central Coast.

Night vision nets illegal NSW fisher
Night vision nets illegal NSW fisher

An early morning covert operation by NSW DPI Fisheries officers using night-vision equipment has netted several people illegally fishing on the NSW Central Coast, the State’s Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald, said today.

"A recent operation using night-vision equipment identified a small boat, with one of the occupants allegedly seen to be using a mono-filament meshing net," Macdonald said.

"The boat was intercepted on the shoreline of Lake Macquarie by Fisheries Officers who searched the boat and found the meshing net and 37 fish including snapper, yellowfin bream and tarwhine. Eight of the fish were found to be of a prohibited size," he said.

Fisheries officers seized illegal fishing equipment and fish in the raid.

"A 38-year-old man from Cabramatta was apprehended and will face court charged with offences relating to the unlawful use of a net, the possession of fish illegally taken and the possession of prohibited-size fish," said Macdonald.

"Maximum penalties for these offences total $44,000 and six months imprisonment," he added.

The Minister said Fisheries officers also conducted inspections of the Eraring, Vales Point and Munmorah power stations on the NSW Central Coast recently.

"During the course of the operation, four other people were also found fishing illegally in the hot-water outlets of Munmorah and Eraring power stations," said Macdonald.

"The waters in and adjacent to the outlet canals of Munmorah, Eraring and Vales Point power stations are closed to all methods of fishing between the hours of 6pm and 6am from May 1 to August 31 annually.

"These fishers were also apprehended for being in possession of prohibited-size fish and fishing without a recreational fishing fee.

"Penalty Infringement Notices totalling $2100 have been issued to three of the alleged offenders, with the fourth person to face court.

"NSW DPI Fisheries officers will continue to regularly patrol the waters of the Central Coast, including the closed waters of Eraring, Vales Point and Munmorah power stations.

"Technology such as night vision equipment is used to assist in the detection of offenders and significantly enhances the effectiveness of Fisheries officers. This should serve as a warning to those fishers who are considering flouting fisheries rules within these areas," Macdonald said.

Information on illegal fishing should be reported to the NSW DPI Fisher’s Watch phone line on 1800 043 536.

Photo: NSW Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald.


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