A 65-year-old Springvale (Victoria) man has been banned from fishing for five years, convicted and fined $8000 for taking nearly six times the legal limit of red shore crabs at Blairgowrie.
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Frankston Magistrates Court was today told Trung Thai was a repeat offender who had 175 of the crabs with him when he was intercepted by Fisheries Officers in the early hours of November 13 last year.The catch limit for red shore crabs is 30.
The court was told Thai had 6 prior Fisheries convictions and had previously been placed on a section 130 prohibition order which banned him from fishing, and which he had breached 11 months later.
The crabs were returned to the water but officers noted many had been damaged or were dead and few were expected to survive.
DPI Prosecutor Rod Barber told the court that on the night and early morning of the 12th and 13th of November 2010 Thai parked his car at the end of St Johnswood Rd at Blairgowrie.
He then made his way out to the inter-tidal rock platforms at Koreen Point with a torch and a bucket and harvested 175 red shore crabs.
Fisheries officers found 84 of red shore crabs packed into a back pack and 91 crabs in a white plastic bucket in the boot of the car.
Thai was later interviewed and admitted he took the crabs and was going to eat them.
Mr Barber told the court Thai had an extensive history of serious offending against the provisions of the Fisheries Act.
He said many of the offences Thai had committed occurred very late at night and were difficult to detect. He said Thai was an unacceptable risk to our fisheries if he was allowed to continue fishing.
Magistrate Ian McGrane agreed, describing the defendant as 'recalcitrant' which meant he continually re-offended.
Mr McGrane said it was important for the environment that fish stocks were protected.