Holiday-makers in the Gascoyne were on their best behaviour, with no fines issued during a school holiday blitz on fishing rules. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development operation during the last day of the July school holidays saw six fisheries compliance officers, a wildlife officer, marine park ranger and two police officers set up a roadside checkpoint near the Overlander Roadhouse on North West Coastal Highway. Fishing tourists’ vehicles were stopped and inspected heading south from locations including Shark Bay, Carnarvon, Coral Bay and Exmouth. Fisheries officers spoke to more than 500 holiday-makers, helping to raise awareness about WA’s fishing rules. DPIRD said they wanted to spread the message that fisheries officers could be encountered anywhere, at any time, and praised the high level of compliance from recreational fishers with no fines having to be dished out. DPIRD supervising fisheries and marine officer Jack Dawson, from Denham, said help from Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Shark Bay district officers and Shark Bay police was appreciated and enabled the operation to run smoothly and not keep travellers keen to get home, waiting. “It was good that so many fishers had followed the rules and were aware of and complying with the new possession limits introduced in July last year,” Mr Dawson said. “The new 10kg possession limit for finfish fillets (not including large pelagic fish, with skin on) were introduced at the beginning of July last year were aimed at addressing community concerns over increased fishing in regional areas and to help provide increased protection for demersal scalefish. “We received numerous positive comments from the returning holiday-makers about the joint agency checkpoint, which also gave us a chance to remind people around correct labelling of their stored catches. “Special operations, like the roadside checks near the Overlander Roadhouse, will continue to be part of the compliance strategy and we urge anyone who suspects illegal fishing activity to report their concerns to FishWatch any day, 24/7, on 1800 815 507.” For more information on bag size and possession limits, visit fish.wa.gov.au.