In December and January, 165 atonements were issued to rogue recreational fishers worth more than $83,000, including 114 specifically in relation to the taking of blue swimmer crabs.
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said with warm days still on the horizon, this is a timely reminder that often the best information we receive comes from responsible fishermen.
“The majority of anglers follow the rules to ensure the long-term sustainability of our fish stocks for future generations to enjoy,” said Minister Basham.
“It’s disappointing to have so many anglers caught doing the wrong thing during the school holiday period. This kind of blatant disregard from a minority of people infuriates everyone and risks jeopardizing the sustainability of our fisheries.
“More than two-thirds of the people caught doing the wrong thing were catching blue swimmer crabs and what really irritates me is that most of those offenders caught with undersized crabs had a measuring device with them. .
“Rogue anglers who are caught doing the wrong thing are at risk of taking a hard hit in the hip pocket and these anglers have learned the hard way with over $83,000 in fines on the spot.
“The Liberal Marshall Government takes the sustainability of our seafood seriously, which is why we have increased expiation penalties for fishing violations in response to years of calls from responsible anglers, both recreational and commercial. .
“Some of these offenses had not increased at all during the 16 years under the former Labor government. On-site fines can now range from $217 to $717 depending on the nature of the violation.
“It’s disappointing to see so many anglers thinking they’re above the law. These rogue fishermen exasperate everyone. Don’t forget that you can help us crack down on anglers who do the wrong thing.
“If you see anyone breaking the rules, please report them via the FISHWATCH 24 hour number on 1800 065 522, or via the SA Recreational Fishing app.”
Examples of offenses during the holiday period
- December 2021 – An individual was detected after capturing 27 blue swimmer crabs at Thompson Beach, all of which were too small. They were fined for catching more than 20 crabs under 11cm in length. They were fined $717. Under Labor they would have been fined $100 + $90 Victims of Crime (VOC) levy.
- December 2021 – A group of five people were involved in the collective catch of 658 Pee from Goolwa Beach that were under the legal size of 3.5cm. The five people were fined $717 ($625 + $92 COV) each for taking more than 100 undersized Pipi. Under the labor regime, they would have been fined $190 ($100 + $90 VOC.)
- January 2022 – A person was fined for withdrawing Rock Lobster Pots registered in another person’s name in Robe. They were fined $592 ($500 + $92 COV) for this violation. Under Labor, they would have been fined $190 ($100 + $90 VOC).
- January 2022 – An individual was discovered to have taken two undersized abalones while diving at Point Drummond. They were paying a fine of $467 ($375 + $92 COV) for taking up to three undersize of a Group A species. Under Labor they would have been fined $140 ($50 $ + $90 VOC).
- January 2022 – An individual took four King George Whitings from a boat near Middle Beach, below the legal size of 32cm. They were well $467 ($375 + $92 COV) for taking all four whiting. Under Labor, they would have been fined $140 ($50 + $90 VOC).