RECREATIONAL fishers are being reminded that jagging is illegal, following a number of incidents at The Bream Hole Sanctuary Zone at Lennox Head.
Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Supervising Fisheries Officer, Ian Stockton, said this illegal method of catching fish often coincided annually with The Bream Hole filling up with schooling mullet.
"Jagging - or foul hooking of fish - is the illegal use of any instrument intended to catch fish otherwise than through the mouth," Mr Stockton said.
"Unfortunately we have had to take enforcement action against a number of people caught jagging in the past few weeks."
In December 2014, the temporary amnesty allowing recreational fishing in The Bream Hole Sanctuary Zone ceased and enforcement of sanctuary zone rules recommenced.
Jagging not only causes unnecessary suffering to the fish that are jagged but the hook can rip through the entire school and harm a significant number of fish with each caste and strike.
Mr Stockton said fisheries officers will continue to target this type of illegal activity.
"Fisheries officers will undertake regular patrols of the sanctuary zone and individuals caught doing the wrong thing will be fined," Mr Stockton said.
"A person may be fined up to $2,750 for jagging a fish and up to $55,000 for fishing in a sanctuary zone."
Recreational fishers are encouraged to use the Cape Byron Marine Park Users Guide and the NSW Recreational Saltwater Fishing Guide, available from DPI Fisheries Offices, most tackle shops or online at www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au
Anyone with any information about illegal fishing or suspected illegal fishing should contact the Fishers Watch phoneline on 1800 043 536 or online at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/compliance.
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