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13FISH call makes the difference as car and kayak seized

by Victorian Fisheries Authority 8 Jan 21:00 UTC
Fisheries Officer Christine Watterson with illegal gear © Victorian Fisheries Authority

The 13 FISH reporting hotline continues to ensure fishing in Victoria will be sustainable for years to come, after a call by a member of the public led to two people having their vehicle, kayak and fishing equipment seized.

Lakes Entrance-based Fisheries Officer Christine Watterson said officers received a call through the 13 FISH hotline on Saturday, 2 January and intercepted the couple leaving the Tambo River near Metung.

"Officers conducted a search of the couple's vehicle which revealed a longline with 83 baited hooks and a 76-metre mesh net," Ms Watterson said.

"The illegal equipment was confiscated and the couple's Toyota Camry was seized, along with a kayak and other recreational fishing gear.

"This type of equipment has the capacity to cause significant damage to the populations of fish and native aquatic wildlife in the Gippsland Lakes."

Shortly after the intercept near Metung, metro-based Fisheries Officers from the Braeside station attended the residential address of the alleged offenders.

A search of the property's sheds resulted in a further two large mono-filament nets being seized.

Ms Watterson said the couple would be summoned to appear at the Bairnsdale Magistrates' Court later this year where it will be alleged Fisheries Officers found them in possession of illegal fishing gear.

"This is a perfect example of why public reports of illegal fishing are so important to the work our team does to make sure fishing is great for all Victorians in years to come," she said.

"If you suspect illegal fishing is taking place at any time, ring our 24/7 reporting hotline, 13 FISH (13 3474), to speak directly to a Fisheries Officer. You can remain anonymous.

"Make the call and make the difference."

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