NSW DPI Fisheries continue to target illegal crabbing and prawning

Operation Portunus – meanwhile on the south coast…

Over the Christmas and New Year period NSW DPI Fisheries officers on the south coast of NSW continued targeting illegal crabbing and prawning activity as part of Operation Portunus. Various offences were detected at Coila Lake, near Tuross Head and Lake Woollumboola at Culburra Beach.

At Lake Woollumboola, 2 people were allegedly found in joint possession of 60 frozen red rock crabs, including 32 that were carrying eggs (ova) externally. Officers determined that the crabs had been taken from Botany Bay, near Sydney.

All 60 crabs were seized and retained for evidence. Fisheries officers also found other offences including the possession of illegal hand-hauled prawn nets.

Red rock crabs have no size limit in NSW but are subject to a bag limit of 10 per person.

At Coila Lake, 5 men and 2 women from Ulladulla, were allegedly found in joint possession of 280 litres of Eastern King Prawns. All 280 litres of prawns were seized along with a hand hauled prawn net and a prawn cooker. Investigations are continuing and the people may face prosecution later this year.

In other incidents at Coila Lake, 7 people were found to have exceeded the possession limit of prawns. Fisheries officers seized over 57 litres of prawns over the course of a number of patrols. The seized prawns were returned to the water.

The bag and possession limit for prawns in NSW is 10 litres per person.

DPI Fisheries are conducting ‘Operation Portunus’ to raise awareness of the rules and regulations when fishing for crabs and prawns in NSW coastal waters.

Report suspected illegal fishing activity by calling 1800 043 536

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