Two Rockingham men fined $25,000- Crayfish Offences:

 

 

Rockingham: two men fined more than $25,000 for taking lobsters

 

 

 

 

TWO men have been fined more than $25,000 between them after causing a big loss to a second generation commercial rock lobster fisher’s livelihood.

Keith Bernard Knowler and Sydney James Knowler appeared at Rockingham Magistrates Court today for sentencing after Keith Knowler’s son Jason Knowler was fined $10,000, at Rockingham Magistrates Court on October 9 for related offences.

Keith Knowler pleaded guilty to eight interference with fishing gear charges and one charge of being in possession of more than the bag limit for rock lobsters.

Sydney Knowler pleaded guilty to a charge of having rock lobster in excess of the bag limit.

The Fisheries Prosecutor said the offences happened during an nine-day period from December 12-21, 2016.

In that time, Keith Knowler found the commercial fisher’s pots near Coventry Reef, off Safety Bay-Shoalwater.

He pulled them in, removed their ID floats marked M8 and then attached his own ID floats marked KK0250.

On December 14, Keith and Jason removed an unknown number of crayfish from the stolen pots and placed more of their own floats on more pots.

A few days later, Keith and Sydney pulled the stolen pots, taking 34 lobsters.

On December 21, Keith and Sydney Knowler were arrested by Fisheries officers at the Bent Street Boat Ramp when they returned from fishing.

Fisheries questioned them and found they had a lobster crawling around in the front of their boat and 16 secreted away in a floor compartment under a carpet mat.

At later interviews with Fisheries, Keith Knowler admitted to stealing the pots and crayfish with his son Jason on December 14, along with committing similar offences with Sydney Knowler.

Their lawyer said the facts were accepted.

He said both men were on service pensions and were former Vietnam veterans.

“Keith has been a recreational fisher for three years and he co-owned a boat with his son, Jason,” he said.

“He has never done this before and certainly not involved in a commercial sense by selling the lobster.

“When they went out the son changed the floats.

“The reason was Christmas was approaching and he had lost pots himself.

“He would give the crayfish to the RSL each year.

“He did it as a hobby.

“They are both on service pensions. These two men served their country with distinction”

He asked for minimum penalties.

The prosecutor said the maximum penalties for the offences were $25,000 for each interference charge or 12 months prison.

He said the offences were serious and fish resources for future generations needed protection.

“It’s an offence of dishonesty depriving one fisher of his livelihood,” he said.

“The fisher is a second generation commercial fisherman operating out of Mandurah.

“Co-operation and goodwill is needed among fishers as pots need to be set over night or a few days and offences like this lead to distrust and the offences themselves are difficult to detect and police.”

A victim impact statement from the commercial fisherman was handed to Magistrate Vivian Edwards.

Magistrate Edwards sentenced Keith first.

“The fisherman’s livelihood depends on how many he catches and this has had a significant impact on his livelihood,” she said.

“The offences were serious – you acted dishonestly – eight times over nine days.

“There is a need for general and specific deterrence.

“I note another offender Jason Knowler was fined $10,000 so I must take that into account for parity.”

She also took into account his ability to pay a fine and his prior good record.

“The totality of eight offences at the maximum is $225,000,” she said.

“The gravity and number of offences over nine days is significant.”

She imposed a global fine of $16,000 and the additional mandatory fine of $4500 for the excess lobster.

She made an order for forfeiture of the boat, lobster and related fishing gear and prohibited him from fishing for lobster for 12 months.

Sydney Knowler was fined the mandatory $4500 plus an additional $750.

“In my view your offending is certainly the lesser of the two,” she said.

“I am not satisfied that you would do this again so the prohibition order is declined.”

 

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 My Dad taught me how to Fish-Thanks Dad.(RIP)


uncle's picture

Posts: 6483

Date Joined: 10/02/07

Just f...... greed

Tue, 2017-11-14 17:03

 Hopefully will think about it next time

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all aggressive fish love bigjohnsjigs

Posts: 2754

Date Joined: 03/03/10

they will never

Thu, 2017-11-16 20:41

 nice big fine but it will never be paid

 

Posts: 3329

Date Joined: 01/02/10

 Shame to blow what appeared

Tue, 2017-11-14 17:06

 Shame to blow what appeared to be an honourable life lived. 

One goat.....

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Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Posts: 189

Date Joined: 14/06/12

Bullshit!

Tue, 2017-11-14 17:28

 Honourable guys wouldn't bring the RSL into it.

They were theiving C's and they got caught. Now they have the rest of their lives to make good choices.

sea-kem's picture

Posts: 9918

Date Joined: 30/11/09

 Pretty much sums it up.

Tue, 2017-11-14 17:33

 Pretty much sums it up.

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Oceanside Tackle's picture

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beachsoul

Wed, 2017-11-15 15:36

Well said and our thoughts exactly!

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rigpig's picture

Posts: 460

Date Joined: 21/11/12

Exactly

Wed, 2017-11-15 16:27

 Thieving low life arseholes. Should be a life ban from having any type of fishing licence.

Oceanside Tackle's picture

Posts: 2661

Date Joined: 23/07/09

Life Ban

Wed, 2017-11-15 17:38

Yep so true!

What shits us is all these wankers that got caught last season say " my pots got stolen" so then you have the right to steal someone elses pots?

WTF?? so someone smashes a brick through your car window at the boat ramp and you have to do the same??

Scum

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Oceanside Team - Specializing in Jigging for demersal, Super Deep Fishing and Cockburn Sound Pink Snapper.

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Date Joined: 03/03/10

"served their country with distinction"

Thu, 2017-11-16 20:48

 theiving pricks i am betting the only thing they did  in the adf was be in ordance core and rorted the Q store to the max  

Posts: 4469

Date Joined: 17/06/10

Well done again fisheries, the stories just keep getting better

Tue, 2017-11-14 17:36

After all the news and TV stories about people being done for this type of offence you would think the message would sink in, but no we will never get caught.

Well you did get caught guys so suck it up and leave other peoples gear alone.

These guys certainly would know what the words honour, honesty and integrity mean.

Posts: 186

Date Joined: 30/12/08

 No sympathy here in spite of

Tue, 2017-11-14 19:37

 No sympathy here in spite of the fact they represented our country at one point. That's not a big deal in that it doesn't determine they type of person you are. It does not matter what your reasons are, they are never good enough to commit any offence. I don't have a boat hence if I want crays I buy. If he's short either buy or say that you have none this year. Meaning of Christmas has been steadily eroded anyway. Aren't we supposed to be celebrating birth of Christ?! Why bring commercialism into it? When you give Xmas presents to your friends and family do you tell them that it is for Christ you are doing this? Otherwise why wait for Xmas? 

Posts: 103

Date Joined: 22/06/13

Best for them to go Bankrupt

Tue, 2017-11-14 20:49

Best for them to go Bankrupt or get Financially Raped.

 

duncan61's picture

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Date Joined: 21/11/14

fines

Tue, 2017-11-14 21:14

 Going bankrupt will not clear court ordered fines

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just do it.

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Date Joined: 17/06/10

More boat sales next year

Tue, 2017-11-14 22:33

I wonder what type of boat they had.

Jackfrost80's picture

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Bloody great stuff but

Tue, 2017-11-14 22:53

Bloody great stuff but imagine if our magistrates were as harsh on other more serious crimes as they are on illegal crayfish catches.

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hezzy's picture

Posts: 1018

Date Joined: 27/11/09

thAT JACK is always in my

Wed, 2017-11-15 05:55

thAT JACK is always in my mind as well

imagine if a assualt charge copped a $25 k fine and 7 years inside ?/
drunk driving was $12 k and or 12 months inside

drug possesion was $25k and time inside automatically

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OFW 11

evil flourishes when good men do nothing

 

sea-kem's picture

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 As it should be......

Wed, 2017-11-15 06:13

 As it should be......

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quadfisher's picture

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Date Joined: 28/09/10

Stacking them in like sardines.

Wed, 2017-11-15 13:52

Yeah I have always wondered why theres seems to be a general reluctance to pay the time for the crime within the system.

As a refrence point , the good ole USA has a rate of around 700 people in jail per 100.000.( at the top of nearly all countrys)

Australia sits at around 150 per 100.000, now thats either a great thing in that we dont have the massive gun and drug crimes off other countrys

and we as Aussies like to give a bloke ( or his crime committing chick) a secound chance.

Or like me you might think its more like state budgets dont run to creating more ,, erm lets say long stay involuntry hotels, but that would be a tad harsh wouldnt it?

One would hope these guys ( reguardless of there service) have been stung enough to change , but who knows.

 

 

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quadfisher

ranmar850's picture

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Gaols are big money for contractors

Wed, 2017-11-15 08:44

 The 3 strikes rule in the US has a big impact on the number of people serving long sentences. Gaols run by private contractors are big business, very lucrative. People think their streets are "safer" because so many are locked up, but they are just making big corporations richer. 

Posts: 285

Date Joined: 13/12/12

 My thoughts exactly - it's

Thu, 2017-11-16 09:46

 My thoughts exactly - it's big business in the US

little johnny's picture

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Haven’t had pot stolen for years

Wed, 2017-11-15 20:43

I have engraved my I’d engraved on 10 spots. Bait lids ,frames. Slates. And welded I’d on weights. Main thing I have correct amount of rope. I leave 5 meters extra. On that 5 meters I have squashed lead 1.5 meters apart x3. No rope floating at all. Any boats hit rope . No issue. Went out other day for dive , seen some ropes ( floating on surface) no lie would have been 40 to 50 meters on surface prior to floats. No dought in my mind ( pro or amateur will hit that) and it will cut. And be reported pots stolen. No dought pots get stolen all the time. Pros have cutters under boats to protect there props( safety) amatures have stainless props( going at speed bang cut). Anyone who goes out in boat ( crayfishing) . All the time must see this and think wtf. I will get yelled at for this one. Pot winches unless medical condition or age . Should be banned. Except pros. I would like to know out of all people that have been caught over last 2 years how many had winches?. There is for and against on this one . Wouldn’t be able to poach pots as easy by hand unless your the hulk. Find heaps of pots on bottom every year. Cut ropes. They stay there and rot.. not many divers can say they never see old based on bottom. There everywhere in close

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johnny and winches

Fri, 2017-11-17 20:23

  your  sugestion about pot winches is a but suss  , how do you feel about blokes taking crays on air or shooting fish on air tell me that is not useing eqiupment to better their catch 

little johnny's picture

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Read below

Fri, 2017-11-17 20:29

Dumb ass. To much cracken perhaps.:):)

hezzy's picture

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Date Joined: 27/11/09

johnny ??why the issue wtih

Thu, 2017-11-16 09:26

johnny ??

why the issue with pot winches ?? it is just another way to fish that makes it easier

similar with gps , sounders, electric winches , electric trim tilt on outboards , electric winches on trailers etc etc
do you have any evidence to support the idea the pot thieves/bandicoots have winches ??

curious??

id suggest the opposite being the case actually , if you cant afford to buy pots you cant afford awinch for them either is more logical imo

do agree with the pot engraving totally !!

hezzy

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OFW 11

evil flourishes when good men do nothing

 

Saulty2's picture

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little johnnys rant

Thu, 2017-11-16 10:26

 is unusual classic divers v cray pot pullers ,maybe im reading too much into the last 2 lines hence dont think it would make any difference with engraving if someone had an agenda to create havoc,

little johnny's picture

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Date Joined: 04/12/11

Taking the piss

Thu, 2017-11-16 11:03

I got bored. I thought It was funny.:):) reason I put up someone said that at ramp

Jackfrost80's picture

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Date Joined: 07/05/12

Haha, you almost sucked me

Thu, 2017-11-16 12:41

Haha, you almost sucked me in. 
Should ban all underwater breathing apparatus too if we're gonna really stop cray theft 

 

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If catching wrasse is cool, consider me Miles Davis

little johnny's picture

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Date Joined: 04/12/11

Serious just taking

Thu, 2017-11-16 13:15

Piss. See you haven’t changed saulty. Same old same old ( rant lol .tossa). Sorry hezzy bad joke. I honestly don’t care ,thought it would have got better attack thou. Another 2 people today saying there pots got raided. Give it a week ( aduse,insults the works at ramp between people). More excitement than pink run.:):). Funny as

Posts: 4469

Date Joined: 17/06/10

Here I was thinking

Thu, 2017-11-16 15:08

What the!!!! very goo, it certainly makes people sit up and read the post over again just to see that they are reading it right. Well it did me any way

hezzy's picture

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Date Joined: 27/11/09

all good LJ ... wont be long

Fri, 2017-11-17 20:43

all good LJ ... wont be long before some tech head puts a cheap mini gps type tracker on a blokes pots ..then the shite will be on !!

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OFW 11

evil flourishes when good men do nothing

 

Posts: 3329

Date Joined: 01/02/10

 Pretty hard to pull pro pots

Thu, 2017-11-16 11:52

 Pretty hard to pull pro pots by hand 

 

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Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 12720

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 theiving is theiving no

Fri, 2017-11-17 20:33

 theiving is theiving no matter who you are or what you have done. the only ones that get away with thieving is the government, lol, 

too much of this goes on . 

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RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together