Two Rocks man fined for fishing in closed waters

In some areas of the Ningaloo marine park fishing is not allowed. Picture: DPIRD

A TWO Rocks man has been fined in the Exmouth Court for fishing in closed waters of the Ningaloo marine park.

On December 14 the 48-year-old man was fined for two offences and his court bill was $4029.

The Ningaloo marine park has five zone types: ‘no-take’ sanctuary zones, special purpose (benthic protection) zones, special purpose (shore-based activities) zones, recreation zones and a general use zone.

Recreational fishing can be enjoyed in most areas of the marine park, but special rules apply in some zones.

In a reminder that Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) compliance officers are keeping a close watch on fishing offences in the Ningaloo marine park four other men have also been dealt with in the Exmouth Court this month.

Also on December 14 the magistrate accepted a submission from a 67-year-old West Swan man that he had been careless and made a mistake but he was still issued with $2259 in fines and court costs.

A DPIRD spokesman said the man, who was the master of a boat carrying prohibited gear in the Ningaloo marine park, had fishing rods with electric reels on board and had fished in closed waters.

In another case, a 70-year-old man from Yangebup was ordered to pay a fine and costs of $759 for also fishing in closed waters in the marine park.

Two other men were also fined for illegal fishing offences in Ningaloo marine park, as well as taking protected fish from park waters.

A 23-year-old from Baldivis was ordered to pay $2000 in fines and $829 in court costs and an Exmouth man, aged 24, was issued fines of $2000 and $619 in costs.

Supervising Northern Region fisheries and marine officer Darren Schofield said DPIRD officers played an important role in the Ningaloo marine park overseeing fishing activity.

“The local community are also guardians of this environmental wonder, so we often receive valuable information about suspected illegal fishing activity,” he said.

“People who come here to enjoy this amazing part of the WA coast on holiday also need to stick to the rules and be aware of waters where fishing is not allowed.”

More on the management of marine protected areas in WA is available on DPIRD’s Fisheries website and the fishing rules are in the Recreational fishing guide 2021

Illegal fishing is a potential threat to sustainability, so FishWatch is available 24/7 to take calls from anyone with concerns or suspicions – call 1800 815 507 to report what you’ve seen.

The FishWatch reporting line is open 24/7 and your report is treated in the strictest confidence.