Three people have been ordered to shell out a hefty fine after they were caught with 30 undersize crabs during a night fishing expedition south of Perth.
A woman from Alexander Heights and a man and woman from Mirrabooka were fined $8400 after pleading guilty in Mandurah Magistrate’s Court to possessing the crabs.
The penalty imposed is considered to be significant in relation to similar offences that have been prosecuted in the past.
Fisheries WA officers came across the trio at 10pm on January 5 in 2020 scooping crabs from shallow water at Island Point in Herron.
The group tipped out their catch when confronted, however officers recovered from the water 30 dead blue swimmer crabs, all with their carapaces removed.
DPIRD’s crab research team verified all 30 crabs were smaller than the legal size limit of 127mm, meaning the crabs were totally protected fish.
Each person received the mandatory $1500 fine for the offence, plus a general fine of $1000. They were all each ordered to pay court costs of $300.
“Taking undersized crabs puts this highly valued resource at risk and the future enjoyment of WA fishers to catch a feed,” Fisheries WA posted on Facebook.
“If you see any suspected illegal fishing activity please report it to FishWatch on 1800 815 507. All reports are confidential and help us protect WA’s fish resources for future generations.”