Gordon Hill

Gordon Hill

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    'Fishwatch' hotline to help prevent illegal fishing

    26/12/1992 12:00 AM
     
     
    Fisheries Minister Gordon Hill has announced that a toll-free 'Fishwatch' hotline has been established to help prevent illegal fishing activity in Western Australia.
     
    The service will continue for a 12-month trial period and is free of charge to both city and country callers.
     
    People can now report any suspicious fishing activity by calling 008 815 507.
     
    The number is connected to the Fisheries Department's existing metropolitan district office service and will be diverted after hours.
     
    However, it might be more effective for people observing breaches in country areas, to report to the nearest resident district Fisheries Officer as listed in the local telephone directory.
     
    Mr Hill said while the majority of people supported measures to conserve and protect fish stocks, there would always be those who, through greed or ignorance, ignored the rules at the expense of others.
     
    "Those who do the right thing are growing impatient with people who abuse the system," he said.
     
    "They want to be able to help, and the easiest and most effective way is to pick up the phone and report any suspicious activity to the Fisheries Department.
     
    "The new toll-free line will cost nothing and avoids scrambling for change in difficult circumstances."
     
    However, Mr Hill warned people not to put themselves at risk by trying to stop illegal activity themselves.
     
    "The best way people can help us is by discreetly taking down the time and precise location of the activity, the nature of the activity, a description of the people involved and their vehicle or boat, including registration numbers," he said.
     
    Mr Hill said examples of the types of offences the Fisheries Department was keen to pursue included:
     
    ·         'Shamateur' fish sales - where people illegally sold fish to retail outlets;
    ·         excessive bag limits and taking undersized fish;
    ·         netting in prohibited areas;
    ·         taking fish, including marron out of season;
    ·         using excess rock lobster pots or spearing rock lobster.
     
    All information received will be treated confidentially.