Man faced court after spearing in sanctuary zone
An Emerald Beach man found spearfishing in the South Solitary Island sanctuary zone of the Solitary Islands Marine Park has pleaded guilty recently at Coffs Harbour court.
The man was charged with possessing a spear gun to take fish in a sanctuary zone and harming an animal in a sanctuary zone.
After pleading guilty he was convicted, fined and ordered to pay costs totaling $2590 and forfeited his spear gun.
NSW DPI Fisheries officers apprehended the man after he was observed spearing Mangrove Jack in the sanctuary zone.
Officers seized a spear gun and an SD card from a GoPro camera containing video footage of the offences.
Sanctuary zones are "no take" areas where marine life is totally protected.
The South Solitary sanctuary zone was first established in May 1991 and is one of the earliest totally protected marine areas established in NSW.
Visitors to the Solitary Islands Marine Park are reminded sanctuary zones provide the highest level of protection to habitat, animals and plants by prohibiting anchoring and all forms of collecting and fishing activities.
For more information on NSW Marine Parks go to goo.gl/pY932F or download the free FishSmart NSW app, with marine park maps included, from Google Play or the iTunes App Store.
If you suspect illegal fishing activity report it by calling Fishers Watch on 1800 043536 or report it online at goo.gl/7t69UC