In Devonport Magistrates Court on 1 August 2019 Kerry James Davison, of Devonport, appeared on matters relating to the illegal taking of whitebait. Mr Davison was found guilty of exceeding the 2 Kilogram daily bag limit, and exceeding the 10 Kilogram possession limit. Mr Davison was found by our Officers in possession of 37.9 Kilograms of whitebait. He had also taken 6.15 Kilograms from the Forth River in one day.
The charges were laid as a result of a joint Inland Fisheries, Parks and Wildlife and Tasmania Police Operation conducted in November 2017.
Mr Davison was convicted on both charges and was fined $4929, along with $85.86 in Court costs. During sentencing, the Magistrate referred to Mr Davison’s actions as a serious matter. The Magistrate also said that people needed to fish within the regulations for the fishery to remain sustainable. The Magistrates also acknowledged that the verdict was intended to provide a general deterrence to those who would also consider breaking the laws relating to the taking and possession of whitebait.
Whitebait regulations are in place for a reason. The fishery is fragile because of over fishing between the 1940’s and 1960’s. Illegal fishing for whitebait puts this fishery at risk for everybody who enjoys this activity.