Large fines were issued by a Carnarvon court last week to 10 people involved in at least four separate illegal fishing activities. Four Carnarvon men were each handed fines of $10,875 plus mandatory penalties and court costs after being found guilty of illegally netting fish, including endangered sawfish. The men, aged between 22 and 54, appeared in Carnarvon Magistrate’s Court after being found by police in April with two sawfish and 12 undersize yellowfin bream in a cooler box. Police officers came across the men near the Gascoyne River on Babbage Island Road, where they had the critically endangered sawfish, bream that were less than the legal size of 300mm, and 19 mullet and three big eye mullet. The Carnarvon magistrate also issued fines, penalties and costs of $1445 each to three offenders from another fishing group, and $2365 each to two more men involved in a separate case. Both cases were uncovered as part of Operation Eastburn, which is targeting illegal fishing in the Gascoyne delta region. In another case, a 48 year-old Carnarvon man was ordered to pay a fine of $6885 as well as mandatory penalty and court costs after he was caught with 54 times the limit of trochus and turban shells after fishing at a reef location on the Quobba coast. The mixed daily bag limit is 10, but fisheries officers found the man had a total of 460 turban shells and 108 trochus shells, 106 of which were undersize. Senior fisheries compliance officer in the Carnarvon District, Matt Clarke, said Operation Eastburn had been successful in uncovering illegal netting activity and raising community help to learn where offenders had been operating. “We also thank the local Carnarvon District Police for their assistance in the sawfish case as the inter-agency collaboration helps to strengthen efforts against illegal activity like this,” he said. Anyone with information about suspected illegal fishing activity can report it to FishWatch by phoning 1800 815 507.