NSW authorities slap more penalties on non-compliant fishing

By Melissa Coade

Friday September 3, 2021

Minister Marshall and DFO Ron Smith.
Minister Marshall and DFO Ron Smith.(Supplied)

The state government’s focus on flourishing fish stocks in NSW has seen fines for people breaking the rules increase by 44% since 2018.

Last year fisheries officers from the NSW Department of Primary Industries issued 3,172 fines — a 44% increase on the two years before.

Agriculture minister Adam Marshall said the numbers reflected a ‘government blitz’ to protect and enhance the state’s aquatic resources.

“Our fishers are incredibly passionate and the vast majority of them do the right thing, but unfortunately a small minority think they can get away with breaking the rules,” Marshall said.

“This crack-down is part of our continued commitment to ensure a sustainable future for fishing.”

“Rules are there for a reason and the Fisheries Management Act 1994 protects and promotes access to resources, including for Aboriginal cultural fishing purposes.

“I won’t apologise for coming down on repeat offenders.”

As a part of the renewed efforts by fisheries officers to change the behaviour of rule-breakers, Marshall said that engaging with fishing communities was important to do alongside compliance measures. 

“Issuing fines is not about government walking around with a big stick, but rather working with the community to ensure our fishing resources are available for everyone, including our future generations who will also love to wet a line,” he said. 

Marshall added that the approach of the department was to take one based on risk-based compliance, which was multifaceted. 

“It is critical we take steps to allow our fish stocks and the habitats they depend on to flourish and protecting these resources through risk based and outcomes focused compliance is a crucial part of ensuring that this happens.”


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