A RECREATIONAL fisher detected with more than six times the daily bag limit of southern calamari has been handed a hefty penalty. In January this year, an inspection of the fisher’s catch near Wallaroo boat ramp by South Australia Police Officers (who are also authorised as Fisheries Officers) resulted in the detection of a large quantity of squid in the fisher’s vessel. The Wallaroo man pleaded guilty in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court in early November to taking 91 southern calamari, well in excess of the daily bag limit of 15. He was convicted and received combined fines and penalties totalling $5,900 but avoided a possible two year jail term. The fish and his fishing gear were also forfeited to the Crown. PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture Regional Manager, Randel Donovan, said he hoped the fisher had learnt an expensive lesson. “Fishing rules are in place to ensure our fish stocks are sustainable for the future, so when the Courts impose significant penalties it sends a strong message to those who do the wrong thing and helps to reinforce the importance of protecting our fisheries,” Mr Donovan said. “Fisheries Officers are always vigilant to ensure those out fishing are doing the right thing, and as in this circumstance are very appreciative of the support received from SAPOL Officers, particularly in regional communities.” Mr Donovan said the case was also a timely reminder for all water users to report suspicious or illegal fishing behaviour. “Our fish stocks are a precious and finite resource and we all have a role to play in protecting them for future generations,” he said. “Illegal activities undermine the sustainability of our fisheries and we can all be vigilant to ensure that those who choose to blatantly disregard the rules are detected.