Fisher faces jail over massive eel haul

An Eden commercial fisher allegedly found with  more than 200 illegally taken live eels is facing a possible jail term.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Acting Director Fisheries Compliance, Patrick Tully, said the 48-year-old man was allegedly found in possession of 216 eels,  11 commercial traps and a large keeper pen.

‘‘Officers from the State-wide Operations and Investigations Group and the Far South Coast district conducted a joint compliance operation targeting the unlawful fishing of commercial quantities of eels from non-tidal waters during March,’’ Mr Tully said.

He said the man was apprehended on the  Towamba River at Kiah.

‘‘The man is endorsed to take eels from tidal waters in selected south coast estuaries, but not from these freshwater sources,’’ Mr Tully said.

The man is facing charges of unlawful use of fishing gear, possessing fish illegally taken, contravening fishing endorsement conditions and fishing in waters protected from commercial fishing.

 The charges each carry a maximum penalty of up to $22,000 or six months imprisonment, or both.