BLACK MARKET: One of the over-sized lobsters in the haul.
BLACK MARKET: One of the over-sized lobsters in the haul.

Coffs lobster bust airs on national television

THE confessions of a commercial fisherman caught red-handed with a haul of illegal lobsters and the undercover operation that led to his prosecution has aired on national television.

Channel Seven's new program Coastwatch Oz aired vision of the bust, which was reported in the Advocate last September.

The prosecution saw one of the heaviest penalties for fisheries offences handed down in New South Wales.

The local commercial fisherman, 28, was caught with 77 eastern rock lobsters taken from ocean waters adjacent to Wooli on December 22, 2012.

He pleaded guilty to more than 30 charges, was fined $34,900, copped a three year good behaviour bond and was required to surrender his fishing boat.

A second Coffs Harbour man, 40, who made the pick-up of the illegal catch was also dealt with in court.

He pleaded guilty to a number of charges including possess prohibited sized fish, possess more than maximum quantity of fish and take rock lobster carrying ova externally.

He was fined $5,500 and ordered to pay professional costs exceeding $1,000.

To watch the Coastwatch Oz episode click here.

The fisherman was observed by undercover fisheries officers.
The fisherman was observed by undercover fisheries officers.


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