Out of season lobster fishing attracts hefty fines!

MEDIA RELEASE-February 2008


A commercial fisherman, found fishing out of season for rock lobster and using a speargun to do so, will now have to pay almost $15,800 for his illegal activities.

Magistrate Sue Richardson imposed the fines, penalties and costs on the fisherman, in the Denham Court today, after receiving a plea of guilty by endorsement from 26 year-old Shane Colin Cooper of Denham, who wasn’t required to attend court.

In a video record of interview Cooper had admitted to being the master of the vessel LFBG230 Sandman on 11 November last year (2007), when he was observed by Fisheries and Marine Officers to be using a speargun as he snorkelled at South Gregories on the Peron Peninsula.

The court was told six rock lobsters were taken by means of a spear and a further eleven rock lobsters had been taken by hand and that Cooper had removed the heads of those lobsters that he had taken by hand.

Among the range of charges against him, Cooper had also pleaded guilty to possession of a rock lobster with spawn attached and two others in breeding condition.

He was fined $10,500 for the six offences under the Fish Resources Management Act and ordered to pay court coast of $110.20 plus additional mandatory penalties of $5184 for the rock lobster he took during the illegal fishing.

Department of Fisheries Gascoyne Compliance Manager Kieth Van Dongen said by imposing hefty fines today, the Magistrate had reflected the seriousness of these offences.

“The offender was well aware he was fishing during a closed season for rock lobster and also that he could not take rock lobster by means of a spear at any time,” Mr Van Dongen said.

“Fishing for rock lobster is not allowed between the end of June and 15 November each year anywhere in WA waters and additional area and time closures can and do apply during other months – depending on the relevant commercial or recreational fishing rules.

“The laws we have are designed to keep our fisheries sustainable and illegal activities like this are not acceptable to the community as a whole and to the people who do the right thing whenever they go fishing, because they want to help ensure there will be fish for the future.”

Anyone with information about suspected illegal fishing activity by commercial or recreational fishers is urged to call Fishwatch anytime on 1800 815 507, or contact their local Department of Fisheries office.

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fishy fingers's picture

Posts: 1719

Date Joined: 28/04/07

Good stuff

Sun, 2008-02-17 12:07

This is what I like to see....only the penalties should be at least doubled seeing as he was a commercial fisherman

To all the virgins..............Thanks for nothing!

tangles's picture

Posts: 1363

Date Joined: 17/12/06

what a prick

Sun, 2008-02-17 17:05

what a prick! typical for up there. Its guys like him that give the rest of us a bad name, good to see he got a hefty fine and id dear say a nice big dirty black mark on his licence!