A pair of illegal marron fishers in the South West have been hit with almost $100,000 in fines after catching more than 400 marron — the biggest fine for illegal marron fishing in WA history. Appearing in Harvey Magistrates Court the two men — a 49-year-old man from Aveley and a 51-year-old from Stratton — received a total of $97,731.60 in fines between them for the offence, with one of the men forfeiting his car. On December 20, 2019 at around 4.30am, both men were spotted fishing with torches by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development officers at the Harvey Dam. The court heard that the DPIRD officers had seen the Perth pair dipping a scoop net in and out of the water. The men were later stopped at a roadside checkpoint on the corner of Stansfield Road and Harvey-Quindanning Road where the marron were uncovered. Upon inspection of the Aveley man’s Ford Fiesta, DPIRD officers found seven bags totalling 418 marron, 250 of which were under the 90mm threshold and classed as undersized. More marron fines from across the South West: $5k marron fine for Collie man A dozen marron leave South West pair with fine Hefty fine for Harvey man During follow-up interviews the two men admitted to past illegal fishing activities in March 2019, which resulted in 11 charges being laid. Magistrate Belinda Coleman issued the Stratton man a general fine of $6000 as well as a $49,640 mandatory penalty, while the Aveley man received a general fine of $4400 and a $36,740 mandatory penalty for the marron. The man was forced to forfeit his fishing gear, while the Aveley man was forced to forfeit his car. Both men entered guilty pleas during the hearing and are prohibited from freshwater fishing, cannot be within 200m of marron waters or drinking water dams for two years and were issued court costs of $475.80. The 2019 bust was part of the DPIRD’s Operation Shadowedge that DPIRD’s regional compliance director south Russell Adams said used targeted increases in fisheries officers and sophisticated surveillance to target illegal fishing in the South-West. “The scale of these marron fishing offences had the potential to impact on the marron fishing season,” he said. “DPIRD compliance officers always pay close attention to out of season activity, to ensure the marron stock is protected for licence-holders.” WA’s recreational marron season starts at12pm on January 8 each year and ends at 12pm on February 5.