Lobster thieves feel the pinch


Several people in NSW have been caught allegedly stealing eastern rock lobsters

Lobster thieves feel the pinch
Lobster thieves feel the pinch
Several people in NSW will be charged with offences relating to the alleged theft of eastern rock lobsters

* Two men are each facing almost $50,000 in fines and six months in prison after allegedly being found in possession of several illegal lobster pots and prohibited size eastern rock lobsters, NSW Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald, said yesterday.

"NSW Department of Industry and Investment (DII) Fisheries Officers conducted covert surveillance on the two men in Frazer’s Blowhole at Snapper Point on July 30," said Macdonald.

"It will be alleged that the men were observed retrieving and resetting five unmarked lobster traps.

"The men were found to be in joint possession of four eastern rock lobsters, three of them were of prohibited size.

"Five traps, four eastern rock lobsters and assorted gear used to bait and check the pots were seized by fisheries officers," he said.

A 30 year old Hamilton man and a 42 year old Bolton Point man will face charges of possessing prohibited size lobsters, unlawful use of a trap, failure to mark lobster floats and setting more than one lobster trap.

* A 35 year old Sydney man was allegedly caught on July 29 with an illegal haul of rock lobsters near the Coalcliff Surf Lifesaving Club, north of Wollongong.

"The man was allegedly carrying a backpack containing a hessian bag with 21 eastern rock lobsters, 14 of them below the prescribed minimum size limit," said Macdonald.

"Fisheries Officers seized the lobsters and the backpack and the man will face court charged with possessing prohibited size lobsters, and possess more than the maximum quantity of lobster. He’s now looking at $22,000 in fines and three months in prison."

* 10 eastern rock lobsters were returned to the water alive, after a man was allegedly spotted with the illegal haul and apprehended by NSW DII Fisheries Officers in Tathra last month.

The 50 year old Tathra man was allegedly found to be in possession of an unmarked lobster trap which contained six lobsters, with another four lobsters found in a boat, when he docked near the Kianinny boat ramp.

The man will be charged with possessing prohibited size lobsters and unlawful use of trap and could face up to $33,000 in fines and a lengthy jail term.

The possession limit for eastern rock lobster is two per person.

 


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