MEN GUILTY OF ILLEGALLY TRAFFICKING LOBSTERS IN NEWCASTLE

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Two men have been ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines, after being found guilty of illegally trafficking eastern rock lobsters in Newcastle earlier this year.

The NSW DPI says the 56-year-old and 25-year-old, both from Harrington, were under surveillance for some time during ‘Operation Antennae’ before officers caught the men on February 23.

At the time, the 25-year-old was found to be in possession of 40 eastern rock lobsters, two of them being oversized.

The DPI believes the lobsters, worth around $3,800 on the market, were taken illegally by use of a prawn net from the 56-year-old man’s offshore trawler.

The pair were found guilty at Newcastle Local Court earlier this month.

The 56-year-old was issued with $14,000 in penalties and ordered to pay an additional $22,000 penalty relating to the market value of the catch, he was also placed on a two year good behaviour bond.

The 25-year-old was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond, and issued with $6,000 in penalties.