Melbourne anglers face legal raps

A recreational angler catches a snapper.
Jarrod Day
The Department of Primary Industries reported two separate incidents involving anglers undertaking illegal fishing and boating activities at the Black Rock and Brighton fishing ramps.

Three Melbourne anglers are facing charges after two separate incidents at the Black Rock and Brighton fishing ramps.

The alleged offences were detected as part of Operation Blade which is targeting snapper offences

In the first incident a Brunswick West man is facing a heavy fine or even jail after allegedly trying to obstruct Fisheries Officers at the Brighton boat ramp.

Fisheries officers will allege that late last week the man sped back to the open waters of Port Phillip Bay for about 15 minutes after he was approached by the officers shortly after he returned from a fishing trip.

He returned to the boat ramp after being contacted by the water police via a mobile phone.

Fisheries Officers found that he had come back to the ramp with a legal catch limit on board, all the remaining snapper were seized.

However it will be alleged that the man drove his vessel in a careless and dangerous manner to avoid the scrutiny of his catch.

He faces a penalty of up to $16,900 or 12 months’ imprisonment, for obstructing and hindering an officer, if found guilty in court.

Acting Regional Fisheries Officer Dane Robinson said officers had substantial powers to stop, board and inspect any vessel or vehicle to search for fish or illegal fishing equipment.

The next night officers boarded and searched a vessel after seeing it dock at the Black Rock boat ramp with two men aboard.
An officer allegedly found a large amount of illegal snapper concealed in the vessel.

'Fisherman are allowed a daily catch limit of only three snapper above 40 centimetres but in this case the accused were allegedly found in possession of 18 snapper all over the legal length,' Officer Robinson said.
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