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Rock Lobster Fisherman Feels Pinch of Justice

AUSTRALIA - A 37 year old South Australian commercial rock lobster fisherman from Port MacDonnell was convicted and fined $12,000 in Portland Magistrates Court yesterday.

George Siropoulos, who holds a Victorian rock lobster licence, was found guilty of taking ten undersized rock lobster and failing to record and report his catch correctly.

Magistrate Klestadt said it was imperative all fishermen comply with their licence conditions because fisheries legislation is designed to ensure sustainability of fish resources.


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"Size limits on lobster and restrictions on lobster pot numbers also apply"
Fisheries Victoria’s Compliance Manager, Kevin Brown

The offences were detected on 3 May 2008, during a covert patrol by Portland Fisheries Officers.

Fisheries Victoria’s Compliance Manager, Kevin Brown, said the Victorian Rock Lobster Fishery is managed by an individual quota system for each licence.

“Size limits on lobster and restrictions on lobster pot numbers also apply,” Mr Brown said.

“There are 85 licences in the Western Zone which extends from Apollo Bay to the South Australian/Victorian border.

“Port MacDonnell fishermen are issued with an annually renewed specific authority, to allow them to land their catch in South Australia.

“They are required by licence condition to accurately report and record the number and weight of lobster caught each fishing trip.”

The Western Zone rock lobster quota has been reduced from 450 tonnes to 320 tonnes in recent years.

Ellen Hardy

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