Fishing fines increase for first time in 30 years • Glam Adelaide

Fishing fines increase for first time in 30 years

Fines for a range of fishing offences are being increased for the first time in thirty years, following industry calls for heavier penalties for rogue fishers who break the law.

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Fines for a range of fishing offences are being increased for the first time in thirty years, following industry calls for heavier penalties for rogue fishers who break the law.

The decision to change the expiation fees is in response to calls from the recreational sector and followed a review conducted in 2019. The new penalties will apply from March 2021.

The review of fines found many fishing offences and penalties have been unchanged since 1989 when the power to issue expiation notices was introduced.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the recreational fishing sector has consistently said current fines are too low and not an effective deterrent. This has been reiterated by the Minister’s Recreational Fishing Advisory Council.

“Some fishing fines haven’t increased for almost 30 years and are no longer deterring people who want to break the rules,” Minister Basham said.

“The black-market value of seafood has increased well beyond the penalties set back in the 1980s.

“For example, under the old rules, someone caught taking 20 undersize crabs could only be issued a $100 fine. Offenders found it cheaper to break the law than pay up to $150 for the crabs at the shops.

“Both recreational fishers and the commercial sector have been disgusted at these low fines, and both have called for significantly larger fines to deter wrong-doers.

“Using the blue crab example, under the new penalties announced today, an offender caught with more than 20 undersized crabs is going to be fined $625.

“Remember, if you see someone breaking the fishing rules, report the activity to the 24-hour FISHWATCH on 1800 065 522, or on the SA Fishing App.”

There are 128 individual offences with increased penalties for recreational and commercial fishers (including boat, bag, size and gear restrictions). For more information about South Australian fishing rules head to https://www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing/recreational_fishing  

Examples of new fines

King George whiting

Offence: taking 10 undersize King George whiting.

Old penalty – $50.   New penalty – $625

Southern calamari (squid)

Offence: taking 10 over the bag limit

Old penalty – $50.   New penalty – $625

Blue swimmer crab

Offence: taking more than 20 over the bag limit

Old penalty – $200.   New penalty – $625

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