by Gemma Gadd
As a result of anglers exceeding the bag limit for snapper Fisheries Officers have seized three boats on Port Phillip bay this season.
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In the latest incident, officers seized a boat at Altona Boat ramp on Sunday morning following an inspection of the vessel that revealed fish in excess of the daily bag limit allegedly hidden under the floor.
Fisheries Victoria Acting Education and Enforcement Director Ian Parks said that when officers inspected the boat, the two men on board presented them with six snapper longer than 40cm, the maximum legal catch.
'However, a search of the boat allegedly uncovered a further five snapper, also longer than 40cm, concealed in the stern, under the floor of the boat,' Mr Parks said.
Two males, a father and son aged 69 and 44 from Lalor and Epping respectively, were interviewed on the scene and their boat and fishing equipment, along with all the fish, were seized.
The pair will be charged on summons with exceeding the bag limit for snapper. The daily bag limit for snapper over 40cm in length is three fish per person.
Mr Parks said bag and size limits were in place to ensure the sustainability of Victoria's fisheries.
'This serves as important reminder to anglers to do the right thing. Those who ignore the rules not only risk large fines and potential seizure of their boat and equipment, but let other anglers down with their irresponsible behavior,' Mr Parks said.
'Fisheries Officers are authorised to inspect boats and ensure daily bag limits are enforced. The message to anglers is that if you do the wrong thing, you will be caught.'
This latest seizure follows the seizure of two boats just three weeks into snapper season.
Mr Parks said Fisheries Officers would be maintaining a strong presence in areas popular with snapper anglers over the remainder of the season.