Drones help in fishing sting

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
Marron are the centre of attention in Collie.
Camera IconMarron are the centre of attention in Collie.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has stepped up its efforts in monitoring fish catches and is using drones and long range cameras to catch people doing the wrong thing.

Operation Shadowedge will put the microscope on commercial and recreational fishers as the department pushes to increase awareness about the importance of fishing within the rules, with Collie and Bunbury identified as two of the operational focal points in the South West.

According to assistant compliance manager south Robert Bogumil, the operation will have an emphasis on remote areas, but fishers can expect to see fisheries officers in a variety of locations.

“Collie is just one town of interest in the southern region,” he said.

“There are numerous locations that will be targeted surrounding the major locations of Esperance, Albany, Busselton and Bunbury.”

Launched earlier this month, the operation has already been successful in uncovering illegal activity, including evidence of out of season marron fishing and further afield, the landing locations of abalone catches.

“In Collie, fisheries officers targeted dams fished for marron and partnered with other government agencies to cover a large area over the two-day operation,” DPIRD compliance manager south Brad Tilley said.

“It is great to see so many fishers sticking to the rules and doing their part to protect our fisheries.

“The focus is on surveillance activities and encouraging voluntary compliance through various education campaigns.”

Operation Shadowedge is expected to continue for the next 12 months, a time in which Mr Tilley advised fishers to keep up to date with the catch restrictions and regulations.

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