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Don’t let illegal fishing spoil your holiday

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has urged holidaymakers who plan to go fishing during the summer holidays to follow the rules.

DPI Director Fisheries Compliance, Patrick Tully, said Fisheries Officers will be out and about right across the holiday period.

“We want everyone to enjoy fishing but there is no tolerance for illegal behaviour,” Mr Tully said.

“In recent weeks the law caught up with a few people who have paid a high price for not following the rules, including a man from Newcastle attracting over $18,000 in fines and costs and given a 12 month community corrections order for unlawfully possessing 8 eastern rock lobsters found concealed in his boat.”

An inland compliance operation was also conducted over the opening weekend of the Murray Cod season with 100 people found not complying with the rules. Some face serious penalties after being found taking Murray Cod before the season started while others were found with prohibited sized fish and having illegal fishing gear.

Fisheries Officers also apprehended a western Sydney man last week with 11 prohibited size Kingfish when they found him allegedly offloading the fish from a boat to a car at Botany Bay. The man, who has been found committing fisheries offences before faces a maximum penalty of $22,000 and or six months imprisonment.

“We advise anglers to ensure they are familiar with the NSW recreational fishing rules, including recreational fishing fee requirements, fish bag and size limits and areas closed to fishing. Don’t forget to pack safety gear and check the weather and tides,” Mr Tully said.

Free freshwater and saltwater fishing guides for NSW are available from NSW DPI Fisheries offices, bait and tackle shops and online,

Information about exemptions to recreational fishing licence fees is available on the NSW DPI website.

Fishing licences can be purchased from here at a cost of:

  • $7 for three days

  • $14 for one month

  • $35 for one year

  • $85 for three years

“Failure to have a valid recreational fishing fee receipt can result in an on-the-spot fine of $200 or a maximum penalty of $2,200” Mr Tully said.

“Fishing rules and regulations are in place to make sure fisheries resource are sustainable and so everyone can enjoy fishing this summer.”

Suspected illegal fishing can be reported to the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or online at DPI Fisheries webpage.

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