Enforcement outcomes Q3 2013-2014

Numbers of Fisheries Inspections Undertaken

Fisheries Officers conducted 12682 inspections during the period 1 January  2014 – 31 March 2014 (Quarter 3).

Table detailing the number of inspections and enforcement outcomes summarised by fishing sector.
Fishing SectorInspections conductedOffenders DetectedVerbal Warnings IssuedOfficial (Written) Warnings IssuedInfringement Notices IssuedBriefs Written
Unlicensed  / Take For Sale12100005
Marine Park Inspections2041033345321

In Quarter 3 Fisheries Officers also conducted 453 patrols of Marine Parks and had a further 2378 interactions with fishers.

Major Compliance & Preventative operations

Priority 1 – Unlawful take for sale of high-value fish species (including abalone trafficking)


OPERATION KITE involved the targeted inspection of a seafood restaurant in Warrnambool.

OPERATION SENSOR was around recreationally caught King George Whiting being sold at a retail fish & chips shop.

OPERATION QUANTUM involved dealing with the trafficking of multiple species.

OPERATION GEM resulted in the arrest of two offenders who were illegally taking abalone and selling into commercial premises. 

OPERATION RADIUS was a blitz by northern Fisheries staff over the Easter/ANZAC Day period targeting illegal fishing actvivity. This operation involved the apprehension of two persons using commercial fishing equipment to take Murray cod and Golden perch. The vessel, trailer and fish were seized.


Fisheries Education continues to identify new seafood retailers and wholesalers to add to the ongoing distribution list for the "Buy Safe and Legal Seafood" pamphlet. An electronic version of the pamphlet is now available on the department's website.

Fisheries education attended 14 events during this reporting period with cross promotional messages including 'Safe and Legal', 'Take for Sale' and '13FISH'.

Court Prosecution Outcomes

A number of apprehensions involving illegal take of abalone from Port Phillip bay resulted in a total of 26 offenders caught taking a total of 2257 abalone from the bay. Successful court prosecution outcomes involved fines ranging from $1000 - $3500,

Two offenders were successfully prosecuted for using "set lines' and yabby pots. Their vessel was seized.

A number of court prosecutions involved the take of excess of the catch limit of snapper above 40cm in Port Phillip Bay.

Priority 2 – Accuracy of Catch and effort reporting data including quota fraud


OPERATION RICHOCHET continued in this quarter and involved the completion of inspections and observations of commercial fishers. This continued with OPERATION RELEGATE in Quarter 3.

OPERATION OMNI continued including a follow up with AFMA regarding quota and administration fraud.


In the east of the state, licence and log book inspections have been undertaken regularly during field inspections. This has also involved monitoring of quota status and prevention of offences where possible.

Fisheries officers continue to work with commercial fishers as part of an education plan to ensure that they know how to properly complete their catch and effort returns. In the west of the state, this involved conducting a number of "Not Fit for Purpose" interviews, resulting in a number of IR's (Information Reports) being generate.

In the east of the state officers conducted targeted investigations into the commercial Eel Access licence fishery including accuracy of Catch and Effort date.

Priority 3 – Policing non-compliance hotspots


OPERATION RADIUS was a blitz by northern Fisheries staff over the Easter/ANZAC Day period targeting hot spot locations to deter offending and to reassure and inform the public.

OPERATION EQUATE continued post-Christmas  and  targeted the intertidal zone from Apollo Bay through Inverloch. The operation targeted Cowes and Mornington in February 2014.

OPERATION HELIX targeted pipis at Venus Bay with a focus on high profile patrols conducted at selected peak weekends and public holidays. During this quarter, this operation resulted in 2209 inspections, 210 offenders and an overall 90% compliance rate.


Fisheries education utilised the Fisheries Victoria education trailers to enhance compliance messages during OPERATION TEMPUS where 630 education contacts were made over 3 weekends. The trailers were also used during OPERATION EQUATE which targeted the intertidal zone and resulted in 935 education contacts made over 9 days.

Eastern Fisheries officers assisted the FV education team for 2 days at Bemm River targeting an education campaign on Dusky Flathead.

Officers attended the "Tour de Tarwin" event on Easter Sunday in Venus Bay with an emphasis on pipi education.

Core business priorities:

Maintaining Community Confidence

During Q3, the Fisheries Victoria community and schools education program achieved the following:

  • Delivery of the Educating for Compliance schools program to 8112 school children from 85 schools.
  • Delivery of the Educating for Compliance community education program to 3007 members of the general community through 15 activities including CALD engagement activities, community events and school outreach visits
  • Ongoing roll-out of the ESL (English as a Second Language) Fisheries teacher resource package.
  • 2328 members of the general community participated in holiday program activities run through the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre.
  • Launch of the Fishing for Culture DVD during Cultural Diversity week in March 2014
  • Design of two educational posters to highlight aboriginal fishing practices
  • Participation in 3 Fishcare workshops at Mallacoota and Bemm River
  • Participation of a kindergarten presentation on "sharks and rays".

Education and Enforcement staff also attended 10 CALD Community event meetings during Q3.

Increasing Fisheries patrols outside of normal business hours

The analysis of general compliance trends and recreational fishing research over the last three years reveals that a majority of fishing activity occurs outside of normal business hours.

Similarly, weekends and public holidays account for a majority of offences committed. It is important, therefore, that education and enforcement resources are adequately deployed during these peak times. Fisheries Victoria aims to ensure that at least 25% of an officer's duty time is rostered outside of business hours.

In Quarter 3, Fisheries Officers worked  1602 shifts outside normal business hours which equates to approximately 25.5% of an officer's time.

Policing fishing offences in Marine National Parks and Sanctuaries

In Quarter 3, fisheries officers conducted 453 patrols in Marine National Parks and Sanctuaries, resulting in 204 inspections.

In the East of the state, patrols and monitoring were conducted at Cape Howe, Point Hicks, Corner Inlet, Wilsons Prom and Beware Reef.

13 FISH call statistics for Quarter 3

 A total of 637 calls to the 13FISH intelligence reporting line were received in Q3.

Table detailing the number of 13FISH calls received in Q3 summarised by sector

Commercial Fish Marine37
Recreational Fish Marine147
Commercial Rock Lobster1
Recreational Rock Lobster3
Recreational Inland53
Marine Protected Areas47
Commercial Equipment Inland38

Table detailing the enforcement outcomes arising from 13FISH calls received in Q3 summarised by sector

Enforcement OutcomesNumber
Infringement Notices Issued81
Court Prosecutions4
Official Warnings38
Information Reports Submitted148