A PORTLAND fisherman has been hit with $135,300 in fines and penalties for fisheries and criminal charged relating to rock lobster fishing.
Roderick McDonald, 59, of Dougherties Rd was sentenced in the Warrnambool County Court last Friday after previously pleading guilty to recklessly dealing with the proceeds of crime, six counts of failing to comply with various fishing licence conditions and regulations and one charge of taking rock lobster in excess of permitted amount
Co-accused Gary James Robinson, 36 of Killarney pleaded guilty to the same charges plus one count of making a false or misleading statement in term of reporting rock lobster taken or pots lifted.
Regional Fisheries officer for west Victoria, Paul Millar told the Portland Observer Robinson operated the licence on behalf of McDonald.
Fisheries officers seized 291 pots belonging to Mr McDonald between December 2010 and April 2011, despite being only licensed to hold 40 pots.
McDonald and Robinson reportedly made $72,932 and $170,174 each from the illegal fishing.
“Robinson was fishing out of Port Fairy, he was taking pots over and above the endorsed amount on his licence and he did so with the knowledge of McDonald,” Mr Millar said.
Read more in Friday’s Portland Observer.