Fisheries officers are reporting an unwelcome surge in the numbers of people taking undersize snapper in Port Phillip Bay.
In recent weeks the officers have issued more than 40 infringement notice during patrols from Mornington, Geelong and the metropolitan area of Melbourne.
Fisheries Victoria’s Executive Director, Anthony Hurst said anglers should ‘know their limits’ so that snapper stocks are sustained and everyone can get a fair share of the fantastic fishing, now and into the future.
'Victorian anglers can enjoy a world class fishery due to favourable conditions and sustainable fisheries management,' Mr Hurst said.
'The future of the fishery depends on everyone who targets snapper, whether recreationally or commercially, understanding their rights and responsibilities.'
However, intensive patrols by Fisheries officers have found some anglers had succumbed to the temptation of taking more than their fair share of snapper or undersized fish.
Fisheries Operations Manager, Iain Bruce said there were extra officers patrolling Port Phillip Bay recently and the sad fact is some people went to great lengths to take more than their fair share.
'The current minimum legal size limit for snapper is 28cm and the daily bag limit is 10 fish, of which only three may equal or exceed 40cm,' Mr Bruce said.
'Fisheries Officers regularly patrol popular boat ramps and are well aware of the most productive areas of the Bay.
'Recreational anglers are also reminded it is illegal to sell or trade their catch.
'Anglers found exceeding catch limits or selling their catch face significant fines.'
Anyone observing anglers exceeding their catch limits or multi-tripping can report vehicle or vessel details to Fisheries Victoria’s 24-hour reporting line 13 FISH (13 3474).
All information will be treated in strict confidence and will assist in planning patrols and enforcement operations when no immediate field response is possible. www.dpi.vic.gov.au