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Check The Rules When Planning Your Fishing Trip

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NSW Department of Primary Industries is reminding recreational anglers and divers to follow the rules or pay the price. The message comes after several people appeared in the Nowra and Wollongong Courts charged with several fisheries offences.

In recent weeks the local courts have handed down fines totaling more than $40,000.

Two men and a woman from Sydney appeared in the Nowra local court after being found with nearly ten times the legal bag limit of pipis at Seven Mile Beach, near Gerroa.

When DPI Fisheries officers searched the trio’s vehicle they found 4960 pipis in storage containers in the boot. The pipis were seized and returned to the beach.

All three pleaded guilty to the possession of pipis taken contrary to a closure, exceeding their bag limits and failing to have fishing licences. They were ordered to pay a total of $3320 in fines and costs and for each to complete 100 hours of community service.

In NSW, anglers can only use pipis for bait, and it is an offence to remove them more than 50 metres beyond the high tide mark. The bag limit is 50 pipis per angler.

There are important health concerns relating to the consumption of recreationally harvested pipis. NSW Food Authority and NSW DPI have produced a fact sheet on recreationally harvested shellfish, which can be found at www.safefood.nsw.gov.au/fs-shellfish.htm.

In the Nowra court a 28 year old man from Mount Warrigal and a 29 year old man from Barrack Heights pleaded guilty to the possession of undersize abalone and lobsters, exceeding the possession limits for abalone and taking the abalone from closed waters.

The men were caught after diving near Walkers Beach, Gerringong and ordered to pay $6,190 in fines and costs; their dive gear was also forfeited by the magistrate.

In NSW the bag limit for lobsters and abalone is a maximum of two of each per person.

In relation to abalone all waters between Port Stephens on the north coast and Wreck Bay in the south are closed to abalone fishing because the numbers in these areas are critically low and under threat. The closure is designed to give the abalone the best possible chance of recovering.

Measuring devices and information on fishing rules can be obtained from DPI Fisheries Offices, tackle stores, dive shops.

Anyone with information on illegal fishing activity is encouraged to contact their local DPI Fisheries Office or call the Fisher’s Watch line on 1800 043 536.

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