Fishing (both commercial and recreational) can have a major impact on the environment. This is one of the reasons why fishing is highly regulated under the Fisheries Management Act 2007.
It is an offence to take, injure, damage, and\or harm aquatic mammal or resources of a protected species. In some cases, maximum penalties of up to $100,000 or imprisonment for 2 years can be imposed. Similarly, people can also be charged with offences, where they are suspected of possessing or trafficking fish or other aquatic resource, exceeding the fixed quantity. The penalties associated with offences of this kind can be as severe as up to a fine of $100,000 or imprisonment for 4 years.
In the event that you have been charged, or are unsure about what you can and cannot do, we urge you to contact our office and seek the advice of a lawyer before proceeding further.
Offences Against Animals
If an animal is injured by a person intentionally, directly or indirectly (i.e. kicking, shooting, poisoning), that person can be prosecuted for committing a criminal offence under the Animal Welfare Act 1985.
Complaints are often made to the Police or the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). The Society sends inspectors to investigate a complaint and will, in many cases, initiate criminal proceedings.
It is a criminal offence to cause death or serious harm to an animal and the maximum penalties for this kind of offending can be a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for 4 years. It is also a criminal offence to abandon, neglect and\or cause unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal. Organising, promoting and\or participating in an organised animal fight can also lead to criminal charges being laid against you.
Often people do not realise that they must also apply and be granted licences in relation to the possession and\or use of certain animals. We recommend that you seek the advice of a lawyer on these matters. Contact Carter & Co Lawyers for expert and experienced advice on (08) 8440 2478.
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