South West illegal marron fishers busted by authorities

Ailish DelaneySouth Western Times
Marron season starts on January 8.
Camera IconMarron season starts on January 8. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times/Tari Jeffers

Several illegal marron fishers have been busted by inland fisheries compliance officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development over the past three months.

Marron season is limited to four weeks of fishing between 12noon January 8 and 12noon February 5 each year to keep the fishery sustainable — those who fish out of season pose a threat to that.

Offenders face fines of up to $5000 for each offence and mandatory additional penalties of $50 per illegally taken marron.

The DPIRD prosecutes all cases of illegal marron fishing, with officers on daily patrols and surveillance.

DPIRD compliance officers counting and measuring an illegal marron catch.
Camera IconDPIRD compliance officers counting and measuring an illegal marron catch. Credit: Supplied/DPIRD Media/Supplied/DPIRD Media

A Collie man was caught with 20 marron taken out of season at a South West dam near Collie in April and now faces a fine and an additional mandatory penalty of $1000.

In the same month, DPIRD compliance officers questioned a Bunbury man near Collie, who also faces prosecution for having three illegal marron taken from the dam in the area.

When DPIRD officers conducted a roadside vehicle search in May, a Harvey man was found to have taken six marron out of season from a dam near Collie.

Last month, a Northam man was found with 66 marron illegally taken from a dam near Collie — 53 of those were under the applicable minimum length.

The man now faces two charges, with maximum fines up to $10,000 and additional mandatory penalties of $5950.

DPIRD southern region compliance manager Russell Adams said that being unique, WA’s marron fishery had rules in place to protect it against illegal fishing pressure.

Apart from our year-round fisheries compliance patrols, we also depend on community assistance and cooperation with police and water authorities to ensure the marron fishery can be managed in sustainable way.

Russell Adams

“We urge members of the community in the South West to report suspect fishing activity to FishWatch on 1800 815 507.”

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