Fishers who flout the law are on notice after Nationals Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall revealed a 44 per cent increase in fines since 2018, as part of the NSW Nationals in the state government’s blitz on protecting and enhancing the state’s aquatic resources.
Mr Marshall said there were 3,172 fines issued in 2020 under the Fisheries Management Act 1994, up from 2,782 in 2019 and 2,230 in 2018.
“This crackdown is part of our continued commitment to ensure a sustainable future for fishing,” Mr Marshall said.
“Our fishers are incredibly passionate and the vast majority of them do the right thing, but unfortunately a small minority think they can get away with breaking the rules.
“Rules are there for a reason and the Fisheries Management Act 1994 protects and promotes access to resources, including for Aboriginal cultural fishing purposes. I won’t apologise for coming down on repeat offenders.
“Issuing fines is not about Government walking around with a big stick, but rather working with the community to ensure our fishing resources are available for everyone, including our future generations who will also love to wet a line.”
Mr Marshall said Fisheries Officers worked closely with various fishing communities and run compliance programs across the state, while also promoting the sustainable growth of commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture.
“NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries undertakes a risk-based compliance program, with a multi-faceted approach to the protection of resources,” Mr Marshall said.
“It is critical we take steps to allow our fish stocks and the habitats they depend on to flourish and protecting these resources through risk based and outcomes focused compliance is a crucial part of ensuring that this happens.”