by Alan Everett
Department of Primary Industries Victoria Fisheries officers were stunned when a routine boat inspection at Mordialloc last night revealed a huge catch of illegally taken snapper.
Two men from Reservoir and Noble Park will be charged on summons after Fisheries officers found 81 snapper, most of them undersized, in an ice cooler.
The men, aged 61 and 67, were intercepted at the Mordialloc boat ramp at about eight o’clock last night, when they were returning their boat to shore.
Fisheries Victoria’s Director of Education and Enforcement, Michael Hodder, said such behaviour was criminal, which was clearly demonstrated by these individuals’ actions.
'There are no excuses, and this is exactly why we utilise our confiscation powers in such circumstances,' Mr Hodder said.
'People who fish like this have no concerns for the fishery, current or future generations - it is all about ‘self’.
'This is the second matter this week in this same area.
'Our patrols checked dozens of boats last night and everybody else was doing the right thing.'
Altogether 65 of the 81 snapper were less than the legal minimum of 28 centimetres.
The bag or possession limit for snapper is ten. The men will be charged with taking undersized snapper, exceeding the bag limit and, in one case, fishing without a licence.
Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing activity is urged to call the 24-hour reporting line, 13FISH (13 3474).
DPI Victoria website