NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) fisheries officers are out in force on the water again this holiday period ensuring that fishers are abiding by the rules.
They are reminding all fishers to get familiar with the Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park zoning plan before heading out.
DPI fisheries compliance director, Patrick Tully said more than 40 offences had been reported in the Marine Park in the past four weeks.
“It is disappointing to see that fishers are not abiding by the rules within the Marine Park,” Mr Tully said.
“We’d prefer people followed the rules because it can be an expensive day out for fishers who are caught, infringement notices totalling $10,000 were issued for those 40 offences.
“The Marine Park’s rules have been in place for more than a decade, so fishers should be familiar with them.”
Offences have included fishing and possession of fishing gear within sanctuary zones including Seal Rocks, contravening special rules within habitat protection zones and failing to pay the recreational fishing fee.
The use of new technologies including remote cameras, aerial surveillance and drones are assisting fisheries officers to catch offenders illegally fishing in no-take sanctuary zones.
Mr Tully said resources were available online to help fishers understand the zoning rules that apply to marine parks.
“Fishers can pick up a copy of the Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park zoning map and user guide, which are both available for download from the NSW Department of Primary Industries website,” he said.
NSW marine park zoning Maps are available for smart phones and tablets via the Avenza PDF Maps app and the FishSmart mobile app and are free to download.
The maps allow people to identify where they are in a marine park and what types of activities are permitted in each zone.
“Recreational fishers can now easily ensure they only fish in zones where fishing is permitted, and don't accidentally creep into sanctuary zones,” Mr Tully added.
”The Avenza maps are stored locally on your device and phone reception isn't required to use them, making them ideal for offshore use.
“Protecting the diversity in our marine parks is crucial to ensuring that we maintain these amazing areas to enjoy and to pass them to future generations."
Download NSW marine park zoning Maps on your mobile device at www.pdf-maps.com/get-pdf-maps.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.