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Thread: Marine Park Sanctuary zones - Mate Busted for driving through

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Marine Park Sanctuary zones - Mate Busted for driving through

    A mate was recently up the coast and was travelling at sea between Forster and Port Stephens. He was aware of the boundaries via his chart plotter of the Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park near Seal Rocks. Thinking he knew the rules about travelling through the Seal Rocks Sanctuary Zone they cut the corner and proceeded home.

    When they got to the ramp a fisheries boat pulled up and the officer told him he was going to be fined $500 and issued an infringement notice to him. When asked why the officer told him he was trolling and they had him on film going through the zone. My mate denied this and told him to have a look as they had no trolling gear or lures on board as they were soft plastic fishing reefs. He showed him his chart plotter track and the officer said "see you were not going in a straight line so you must have been trolling. My mate told him he was putting in new coordinates into the plotter to fish some other reef locations further south when he was not going straight.

    As I am travelling up there in a couple of weeks I sent an email to then asking to clarify as their user guide simply states states “Vessels must stow any fishing gear whilst transiting a sanctuary zone”. What does this mean and what do I need to do with fishing rods and other fishing gear on the vessel?

    They replied "Any vessel may transit through a sanctuary zone.

    When transporting fishing gear through a sanctuary zone (that is, to or from a place where the fishing gear may be lawfully used) such gear must be in the 'authorised state'. This means any fishing line must be inboard and not baited, fishing nets must be clear of the water, and any other fishing gear must be stowed.

    Vessels anchored, moored, or aground in a sanctuary zone must have all fishing lines un-rigged". This is what my mate was doing but to fight it he has to take a day off work and travel from Sydney to Port Stephens.

    Some people should not be given authority as they simply abuse it. During the Xmas period I witnessed persons illegally fishing and taking shellfish from rock platforms in Sydney. I called Fisheries and was told they don't have an officer to attend on Sydney Harbour on the weekend. They have no problem however with having one with a video camera up the coast accusing people of doing things they were not.

    I am all for rules and regulations but this is just a stitch up.
    Chenz
    I do not wish to be a member of any club that would have me as a member

    Former Owner of The Red Terror - 1992 Defender 200Tdi
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  2. #2
    Ean Austral Guest
    Fight the charge in court - I am assuming you have the rules in writing. Save all chart plot data hopefully he still has it. Did they come alongside him when he was in the sanctuary zone and catch him in the ? - or at the wharf with an assumption he was fishing ? - They will need to supply a copy of all their tracking and proof of him fishing.

    Fisheries cops are usually just people who failed the police exam --- oops they are reelly good people

    Cheers Ean

  3. #3
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    I am unsure of how a conviction for a fishing offense is viewed officially ie is it a permanent stain on his record aka criminal conviction, misdemeanor or.....? Such things have a way of coming back to bite years after the event.

    Perhaps a chat to a solicitor may be prudent........

  4. #4
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    So if they didn't physically see the boat at the time, how did they did they figure something was being done against the rules? Conjecture? Osmosis? Using the force?

    Bureaucratic idiots. I would fight it. The first thing would be sending them a letter from a lawyer holding 'them' personally responsible to explain their accusation, not the bureaucratic juggernaut behind them.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cripesamighty View Post
    So if they didn't physically see the boat at the time, how did they did they figure something was being done against the rules? Conjecture? Osmosis? Using the force?

    Bureaucratic idiots. I would fight it. The first thing would be sending them a letter from a lawyer holding 'them' personally responsible to explain their accusation, not the bureaucratic juggernaut behind them.
    The Fisheries have these people on Film/video, No
    Conjecture? Osmosis? or Using the force?
    If they can see this boat on that footage with a line in the water then it is a Fair Cop, If they haven't then they have Nothing.
    I personally think that the Fisheries do a Great job and the more people they can apprehend for illegal fishing the better as far as I am concerned.
    Here in the West and in the NT IF you stuff up you can loose your boat, trailer, fishing gear, the catch and even the vehicle that towed the boat to the ramp, On top of that you can get huge fines as well.
    I am pretty sure that Fisheries offences are criminal offences and will go on your record.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by trout1105 View Post
    The Fisheries have these people on Film/video, No
    Conjecture? Osmosis? or Using the force?
    If they can see this boat on that footage with a line in the water then it is a Fair Cop, If they haven't then they have Nothing.
    I personally think that the Fisheries do a Great job and the more people they can apprehend for illegal fishing the better as far as I am concerned.
    Here in the West and in the NT IF you stuff up you can loose your boat, trailer, fishing gear, the catch and even the vehicle that towed the boat to the ramp, On top of that you can get huge fines as well.
    I am pretty sure that Fisheries offences are criminal offences and will go on your record.
    They have a camera on shore that can detect a boat in the sanctuary zone. My mate said he could see a boat a few kilometres from him and this was the boat that met up with him at the ramp. I fail to see how they could have seen if he was fishing or not which he wasn't. There were rods in the rocket launchers above the cabin on his boat that would be plain to see. When my mate tried to reason with the officer he got the "I could take all your gear your boat and your car" threat.

    If convicted this will be a mark against him on his record for good.
    Chenz
    I do not wish to be a member of any club that would have me as a member

    Former Owner of The Red Terror - 1992 Defender 200Tdi
    Edjitmobile - 2008 130 Defender

  7. #7
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    I know this is a serious issue, but for some reason, it reminds me of this joke.

    Out on the Lake - Joke | eBaum's World

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  8. #8
    Ean Austral Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Chenz View Post
    They have a camera on shore that can detect a boat in the sanctuary zone. My mate said he could see a boat a few kilometres from him and this was the boat that met up with him at the ramp. I fail to see how they could have seen if he was fishing or not which he wasn't. There were rods in the rocket launchers above the cabin on his boat that would be plain to see. When my mate tried to reason with the officer he got the "I could take all your gear your boat and your car" threat.

    If convicted this will be a mark against him on his record for good.
    If they had concrete evidence they WOULD have taken it all.

    In your earlier post you said it wasn't illegal for vessels to transit the sanctuary - do you have this in writing ?
    Trolling requires you to change your speed, did they have a radar gun on him to see that had happened.

    Unless there is more to this than what you have said , there is no way they could prove that he was trolling.

    Cheers Ean

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ean Austral View Post
    If they had concrete evidence they WOULD have taken it all.

    In your earlier post you said it wasn't illegal for vessels to transit the sanctuary - do you have this in writing ?
    Trolling requires you to change your speed, did they have a radar gun on him to see that had happened.

    Unless there is more to this than what you have said , there is no way they could prove that he was trolling.

    Cheers Ean
    This is the wording I received back from the Dept. of Primary Industries that administer Fisheries, which is out of their Marine Park Rules and Regulations:

    "Any vessel may transit through a sanctuary zone. - ​(Doesn't say by how much, what course you take be it circular, straight or otherwise)

    When transporting fishing gear through a sanctuary zone (that is, to or from a place where the fishing gear may be lawfully used) such gear must be in the 'authorised state'. This means any fishing line must be inboard and not baited, fishing nets must be clear of the water, and any other fishing gear must be stowed. - ( I asked what "stowed" meant and got no response apart from the statement here)

    Vessels anchored, moored, or aground in a sanctuary zone must have all fishing lines un-rigged"

    They claim, from his chart plot that he showed them because he went in a circular route and not straight through the zone they claim he was trolling. From the camera on shore and their vessel a kilometre or so away there is no way they can prove he was - which he wasn't. It would appear that you are guilty until proven otherwise. Even the infringement notice has wording to the effect, you can fight this in court but only 4% of cases are overturned. He is going to fight it in court. I wish I could go as I would love to these incompetent imbos lose.

    As I said earlier in posts. I have no problems with Fisheries and encourage them to go out and enforce the laws and go after those are doing the wrong thing but this is bloody minded lunacy. A simple, "Hey mate when going through the zone you should do ABC and XYZ" Not rush up and accuse people of doing something they think they did and issue $500 fines and then threaten to take your gear boat and car. That does nothing but people off.

    Apparently,
    others at the ramp at the time commented after the Fisheries officer left that he is a real hard case and is as popular up there as a fart in an elevator.
    Chenz
    I do not wish to be a member of any club that would have me as a member

    Former Owner of The Red Terror - 1992 Defender 200Tdi
    Edjitmobile - 2008 130 Defender

  10. #10
    Ean Austral Guest
    Yes I have been to court against fisheries more than once , the last time they didn't even bother turning up to defend their actions and the judge thru it out.

    Different state, same animal - I deal with them weekly , most are ok , but there is always 1 that failed the police force exam , sadly I get him about once or twice a month - doesn't even need to look at the rule book , he can quote the infringement by rule and prefix off the top of his head.

    Tell your mate good luck. Make sure he has a copy of the ruling you just posted to give the judge.

    Cheers Ean

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