Social media has been rife for months with ongoing reports of multiple groups that have been continually flouting the rules with their blatant harvesting of cockles from the foreshores of Lake Illawarra.
Finally a pair of these poachers have had their comeuppance following action by NSW DPI Fisheries enforcement that has resulted in fines of $27450 when they tried to sell their ill-gotten shellfish on the Sydney black market.
The Department and the courts take this type of offending very seriously as recreationally caught fish and shellfish, cannot be sold under any circumstances as it is a risk to public health as the seafood is not subject to the same stringent testing and handling procedures as legitimate commercial activities.
More often than not, these illegal operators just don't care about safe and hygienic practices with their product as they are just interested in a quick cash return.
Anyone who witnesses illegal fishing, should take details of where and when and report it to Fishers Watch by calling 1800 043 536.