In a cautionary tale for other recreational fishers, a Victorian man has been sentenced for exceeding a possession limit, even after abiding by daily bag limits during a fishing holiday on the Sapphire Coast.
Damir Resic, 56, of Hoppers Crossing Victoria was sentenced in Eden Local Court on Wednesday, November 6, after Fisheries Officers found 106 yellowfin bream in his freezer. The legal possession limit in NSW is 20 per person.
Mr Resic had been visiting Merimbula in May this year for a two-week fishing holiday. He was pulled over for a routine check by Fisheries officers who found nine bream in his bucket for the day, which was within the daily bag limit of 10.
Mr Resic said that he was on day 12 of his two-week holiday so also had fish back at his holiday unit and invited the Fisheries officers to take a look. There they found the other fish in plastic bags, unprocessed.
It was raised by his defence solicitor Tony Cullinan and acknowledged by Magistrate Jenny Atkinson there was "no indication nor implication" the catch was for commercial purposes.
Mr Cullinan told the court it was simply a matter of his client not realising the possession limit extended to multiple days.
The police prosecutor responded by saying the law was there to protect viable fish stocks and to ensure resources were available into the future for all fishery users. She said 86 fish above the possession limit was serious enough to warrant prosecution.
Magistrate Atkinson accepted Mr Resic was of good character, but given he was a member of a recreational fishing club he "should not be ignorant of the law".
While the fine for such an offence could stretch to $22,000, Mr Resic was convicted and fined $500 - the amount the original penalty notice would've been - plus ordered to pay court costs of $1417. Fifty per cent of the court costs was to be paid to Fisheries as moiety.
Meanwhile in a separate matter heard at Eden Court, a 23-year-old man from Victoria had charges for alleged cybercrime offences held over until the next sitting date.
He has been charged with four counts of unauthorised access and/or modification of restricted data in incidents said to have occurred in Moruya between April 2017 and February 2018. The matter was adjourned until December 4.
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