A recreational fisher in the South East has become the first person to be caught and fined for breaking the rules regarding South Australia's snapper closure.
It is alleged the snapper was taken from Jones Bay near Cape Douglas in the South East, where the fisher was detected during a routine inspection by patrolling fisheries officers.
The interstate man was issued with a $375 fine as he had caught and retained the snapper but did not hold any recreational snapper tags.
Snapper fishing is banned across South Australia except for the South East where strict control measures are in place.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said this is a reminder of how seriously the Marshall Liberal Government is taking the protection of snapper stocks.
"You cannot fish for snapper as a recreational fisher if you have not been issued with recreational tags - it's that simple," said Minister Whetstone.
"Snapper numbers in our gulfs are dangerously low – the science and anecdotal evidence from fishers all tell us this – and strong action had to be taken to protect the fishery for the future.
"Unlike the former Labor Government we will not take a back seat and watch this species decline further and put at risk the chance of our grandchildren being able to catch this iconic species in South Australian waters.
"The approach we have taken has kept the South East region open for fishing to all sectors, but has set control measures such as a total allowable catch for the region that includes a total allowable recreational catch which has been managed through the snapper tag ballot.
"These are strict controls, but they are necessary and I urge fishers to be aware of the requirement for snapper tags and the consequences if these rules are flouted, which can include a fine or even prosecution.
"All snapper tags have now been allocated for the 2020 season, so if you have not been successful in getting tags through the ballot I would encourage you to enjoy fishing for snapper on one of the many charter boat experiences in the South East."
Suspicious or illegal fishing activity can be reported to the 24-hour Fishwatch hotline on 1800 065 522 or via the SA Recreational Fishing Guide app. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.
To find out more about fishing for snapper and requirements for using snapper tags, head to pir.sa.gov.au/snapper