PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture is urging recreational fishers to familiarise themselves with recently introduced fishing rules, following the conviction of a group of recreational fishers caught deliberately exceeding King George Whiting fishing limits.
The trio were detected at Port Hughes in June this year for taking 41 King George Whiting over the daily bag limit and 19 whiting below the legal minimum length.
The defendants, Phillip Friend and Dillon Person of Para Hills and Michael Lloyd of Goolwa Beach, were found guilty and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling $1 300 each.
The court also ordered the catch and fishing equipment used in the incident be forfeited.
Quotes attributable to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture Regional Manager, Randel Donovan
It is deeply concerning that recreational fishers with access to information on fishing limits still choose to blatantly disregard the rules and take significant quantities in excess of bag limits and below the minimum legal length.
Size and bag limits are a vital tool in place to protect stocks and ensure the fishery remains sustainable and this type of offending places additional pressure on our highly valued King George Whiting stocks.
With the busy summer holiday period ahead, Fisheries Officers will be patrolling popular fishing spots throughout the summer period to educate fishers about recent rules changes to fishing rules and monitor compliance.
While any detection of non-compliance will be treated on its merits, with consideration given to specific circumstances we urge all fishers to take the time to familiarise themselves with current fishing rules before heading out.
Fishing limits for King George Whiting at a glance:
- Size – 32 cm (east of 136ºE including all gulf waters), 30cm (west of 136ºE)
- Bag limit (per person) – 10
- Boat limit (per boat) – 30
Anyone who spots illegal fishing activity can report it on the 24 hour Fishwatch number on 1800 065 522. Callers can speak to a Fisheries Officer and may choose to remain anonymous.
For the latest information on recreational fishing rules in South Australia, visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing, call Fishwatch or download the SA Recreational Fishing Guide app.