Two Springvale men will be charged on summons after allegedly being caught with 31 snapper hidden on board their boat.
The men were intercepted by Fisheries Officers during a routine patrol at Mordialloc on Saturday night.
They allegedly presented four fish for inspection and denied having any more when the Fisheries Officers spoke to them at the Mordialloc boat ramp, shortly after ten o’clock.
However an inspection of the boat found another 31 snapper in a hidden compartment on the floor.
The vessel and fishing equipment were subsequently seized and both men interviewed.
Both allegedly made full admissions about hiding the fish as they knew they were doing the wrong thing.
Director of Education and Enforcement for Fisheries Victoria Michael Hodder said those who concealed or took fish in such circumstances were a criminal element with no regard for current or future generations.
“We shall pursue these individuals vigorously through our inspections and surveillance and then the courts,” Mr Hodder said.
Photos courtesy of Vic DPI
Fisheries officers were then stunned when a routine boat inspection at Mordialloc days later revealed another huge catch of illegally taken snapper.
Two men from Reservoir and Noble Park will be charged on summons after Fisheries officers found 81 snapper, most of them undersized, in an ice cooler.
The men, aged 61 and 67, were intercepted at the Mordialloc boat ramp at about eight o’clock, when they were returning their boat to shore
Fisheries Victoria’s Director of Education and Enforcement, Michael Hodder, said such behaviour was criminal, which was clearly demonstrated by these individuals’ actions.
“There are no excuses, and this is exactly why we utilise our confiscation powers in such circumstances.” Mr Hodder said.
“People who fish like this have no concerns for the fishery, current or future generations - it is all about ‘self’.
“This is the second matter this week in this same area.
“Our patrols checked dozens of boats last night and everybody else was doing the right thing.”
Altogether 65 of the 81 snapper were less than the legal minimum of 28 centimetres.
The bag or possession limit for snapper is ten. The men will be charged with taking undersized snapper, exceeding the bag limit and, in one case, fishing without a licence.
Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing activity is urged to call the 24-hour reporting line, 13FISH (13 3474).