Rocklobster Season Nearing End - Rule Reminder28 May 2013
AUSTRALIA - Fishers are reminded that the annual closure for both the Northern and Southern Zone Rocklobster fisheries will take effect from 6pm Friday 31 May.
The closure bans all Rocklobster fishing activity in South Australian waters and will remain in place in the Southern Zone until 1 October 2013 and in the Northern Zone until 1 November 2013.
Rocklobster pots should be removed from the water and Fisheries Officers will be conducting patrols in coastal waters throughout the closed season with owners running the risk of being fined or having their pots confiscated.
Director Operations, PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture, Peter Dietman said recreational fishers using excess pots, unregistered pots and pots registered in other persons names were some of the major compliance issues encountered during the 2012-13 recreational season.
“One of the most serious incidents during the season occurred in the Southern Rocklobster zone when two fishers from the South East were reported for committing a series of offences at Long Gully in February,” he said.
“While the pair are yet to face court, it will be alleged that the fishers were operating unregistered Rocklobster pots, recreational Rocklobster pots registered to other users and Rocklobster pots owned by a commercial fisherman.
“It will be alleged that one of those fishers to be charged did not hold a recreational Rocklobster pot registration and they were also found to be operating a number of drop nets in an illegal manner.”
Mr Dietman said with the impending closure of the season it was timely to remind fishers to do the right thing and ensure they comply with the rules of the closure.
“These rules are in place to not only protect the long-term sustainability of the fishery but to ensure all fishers have equal access to the state’s resources,” he said.
“Disregard of the rules is taken very seriously and fishers caught doing the wrong thing face considerable penalties.”
Recreational fishers who are caught taking Rocklobster in the closed season could face a maximum penalty of up to $10 000.
Suspicious or illegal fishing behaviour can be reported to the 24-hour FISHWATCH number on 1800 065 522. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.
TheFishSite News Desk