Fishermen call for closure zone GPS co-ordinates signage

Discussion in 'Fishing News' started by Dean, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Dean

    Dean Administrator Staff Member

    THREE Darwin fishermen are calling for closure zone GPS coordinates to be placed on signs around the Daly River after they were caught fishing 8km in from the Moon Billabong Outlet border.
    The men claim they were unaware they were in the fishing closure zone because of inconsistencies between signage and government websites.

    They said there was more than a five-km difference between what was on the sign and what was on the NT Fisheries website.

    The closure zone operates from October 1 to January 31 every year to protect fish species like Barramundi during key spawning seasons.

    The men, Paul Andonaros and brothers Adam Daniel Benaim and Graeme Abraham Benaim, appeared self represented in the Darwin Magistrates Court on March 5, each pleading guilty to a charge of possessing gear on the Daly River during closed season.

    Outside court, Mr Andonaros said GPS coordinates would clear up any confusion for fishermen wanting to do the right thing.
    “The maps on your GPS don’t show the name of creeks and outlets so you’re just going by what you can see and what was on the map,” he said.

    “In this day and age, everyone goes by GPS coordinates so if they’re on the sign, it’s done and obvious to everyone.

    “I can punch that into my sounder and it will tell me where the point is so there’s no confusion.”
    The court heard that on the morning of January 17, the men travelled in their 5.6 metre Sea Jay boat from the mouth of the Daly River to go fishing.

    Signs at different entrances along the river outline the fishing closure zone.

    The boundary line is imaginary.

    At 12.25pm, water police found the men with rods and lures eight-km inside the closure zone.

    Police asked them to leave and issued notices to appear in court.

    He said they support the closure zone and never kept the fish they caught.

    “The closure zone is there for the fish and we respect that but regardless, we thought we were right on the boundary,” he said.

    They were each fined $100 and no conviction was recorded.

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