Interference with rock lobster pots proves costly in courts

Photo: Wikimedia / Rexness
Photo: Wikimedia / Rexness

A magistrate in Rockingham Court has ordered a Spearwood man to pay AU$12,181 in fines and costs, for interfering with rock lobster pots.

When he committed his offence in January of 2017, 73-year-old Angelo de Robertis had his vessel seized by fisheries and marine officers. However, the vessel was not forfeited in this case. In handing down the ruling on Monday, October 29, the magistrate took into account the offender had lost the use of his vessel for more than 20 months.

The owner of the rock lobster pots had confronted De Robertis as he removed a rock lobster from one of the owner’s pots, which he had pulled onto the pot tipper of his vessel. The court was told that, under the direction of the owner, the offender replaced a western rock lobster back into the pot and dropped it back in the water for the owner to retrieve.

The owner later lodged a complaint with FishWatch and a search warrant was executed at the Spearwood home of DeRobertis, at which time he made full admissions to pulling the pot, but claimed he was untangling the pot.


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