The shame file photos of illegal fishing
IN AN era of responsible fishing, catch and release and sustainability in respect to catch sizes and bag limits these images released by the NSW Department of Primary Industries should shock the majority of anglers who are doing the right thing.
The pictures show there are still some who catch and keep everything they catch no matter the size or the state's laws.
In the first two months of this year over 17,500 fish including shellfish, crabs and oysters have been seized by NSW DPI Fisheries Officers.
The fish were seized because they were undersize or were taken in excess of specific bag limits.
NSW DPI Fisheries Officers can issue fines from $500 for size and bag limit offences.
Officers can also seize the fish as well as your fishing gear and equipment, possibly even your boat, trailer and car.
NSW DPI Fisheries Officers also recently apprehended four men who were allegedly involved in the black market sale of Mud Crabs at Yamba and Iluka.
Fisheries officers had been keeping a watch on a retail seafood business in Yamba over a two week period, believing the owner was purchasing mud crabs from recreational fishers.
Three men admitted to allegedly selling over 20kg of recreationally caught mud crabs on two occasions and have been fined for taking fish for sale without a commercial fishing licence.
The owner of the seafood business was also fined for allegedly contravening the conditions of his fish receivers permit, which enables him to buy seafood direct from commercial fishers in NSW.
Fisheries officers seized 21 mud crabs as well as $180 in cash, allegedly part of the payment for the illegal sale of the crabs. The seized mud crabs and cash were retained as evidence.
NSW DPI strongly advise against anyone consuming seafood if they don't know where it has come from.
People should only buy their seafood from reputable retailers as they can be assured it has been sourced from a licensed supplier and monitored for safety. For more information regarding safe food requirements in NSW Food Authority.
Report suspected illegal fishing activity by calling 1800 043 536 or report online here.