Calamari catch sees boat forfeited

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A HILLSIDE man who took 23 calamari off Queenscliff and broke water safety regulations has been convicted, prohibited from fishing for six months, fined $1,200 and had his boat and fishing equipment forfeited.

Victorian Fisheries Authority director of education and enforcement Ian Parks said the man pleaded guilty in the Geelong Magistrate’s Court to taking more than the catch limit for calamari, speeding past another vessel and not wearing an approved life jacket when required.

“The man took a total of 23 calamari, two of which were returned to the water dead when a larger calamari was caught. This activity is known as ‘high grading’ and is not allowed,” Parks said.

“The man was under surveillance for the entire fishing session as part of Operation Focus.

“Soon after, Fisheries Officers intercepted him at the boat ramp where he claimed to have only taken his bag limit.

“The court heard the man had two prior matters recorded for similar offending and on both occasions his boat had been seized but later returned by the court.”

Parks said repeatedly breaking fishing regulations showed a blatant disregard for the law and the importance of abiding by catch limits so we can all enjoy our sustainable fisheries for years to come.

To report suspicious or illegal fishing activity in Victoria call 13FISH (133474) anytime.

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