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Illegal fishing crackdown

Thursday, 25th February, 2010

Three men have had their boat and fish seized after being caught illegally fishing in the Darling River at Menindee. NSW Fisheries Compliance Director, Glenn Tritton, said the men were apprehended earlier this month during a night-time surveillance operation conducted by NSW Fisheries Officers into ongoing illegal fishing activities in the far west of NSW. "It's alleged the men, a 63-year-old from Menindee, and a 24-yearold and 22-year-old, both from Sydney, were using two cord drum nets which are illegal to use in NSW waters. "Cord drum nets are no longer permitted to be used in NSW waters since the closure of the inland native finfish commercial fishery in 2001," Mr Tritton said.

The two cord drum nets, a 12 foot punt and 9.9 hp outboard were seized, as well as four large Murray cod, weighing in at a total of 45 kilograms and three golden perch. The Menindee man will face court on six charges including the unlawful use of nets, possess fish unlawfully taken, exceed the daily bag limit of Murray cod, take fish for sale, take commercially protected species for sale and land fish for sale in an unlicensed boat.

The two other men will face the court on two charges each including unlawful use of nets and possess fish unlawfully taken. In another area of inland NSW, two men have been apprehended during the month after being detected by NSW Fisheries Officers on a routine patrol using illegal fishing equipment in irrigation canals, near Mulwala, on the NSW/Victorian border.

It is alleged the men were using 45 illegally constructed yabby traps, which are not permitted to be used in any NSW waters. The 45 yabby traps, a box trailer and 731 yabbies were seized. The men, aged 57 and 79, both from Mulwala, have been issued a number of $500 penalty notices for the unlawful use of traps and taking yabbies for sale."It's disappointing that time and time again, we're getting people that completely disregard the hard work that's going into sustaining our fisheries resources," Mr Tritton said."Illegal fishing threatens valuable fish stocks and undermines licensed commercial yabby fishers and the regional economies they support."We are serious about fisheries crime, we will continue to target illegal fishing and the threat it poses to the sustainability of our fisheries resource.

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