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How to Report Illegal Fishing Activities and Why You Should

The Western Rock Lobster Council (WRL) and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) encourage license holders, and the public, to help protect fisheries by reporting illegal activities. By reporting these incidents you are helping to protect the integrity and sustainability of our industry.


WRL has received increasing reports of both recreational and commercial illegal fishing activities, such as black market activity and non-compliant fishing operations.

As part of our discussions with the DPIRD as to how to reduce these activities, DPIRD has provided ways that industry and the general public can report illegal fishing activity.

WRL understands that anonymity is a high priority to Members when reporting compliance breaches and DPIRD has provided a way for you to remain completely anonymous.

We encourage you to actively assist the integrity and sustainability of your industry by reporting any incident of illegal activity, especially as you are able to provide a high level of detail of the breaches at (or close to) the time the breach occurs – both of which are extremely important factors in allowing charges to be pressed.


How to Report?

The two preferred methods of contact are:

Calling the FishWatch hotline on 1800 815 507

The FishWatch 24-hour hotline phone line provides a quick and easy way to report sightings or information on illegal fishing, aquatic pests and diseases (including fish kills).

You are not required to identify yourself when reporting suspected illegal fishing incidents. You can request to remain completely anonymous as you only need to include details you want to provide.

Information is immediately sent to Fisheries Officers via email and SMS to allow action if resources permit, or for assessment and subsequent enquiries.

Providing optional contact details allows Fisheries Officers to follow up and seek additional information if required.


Ring, email, or attend a local Fisheries Office

Whilst contact is not anonymous, Fisheries Officers will ensure that the information provided to them is handled appropriately if there are concerns around anonymity. The report can be recorded on the Department’s database as anonymous (i.e. name is not visible on the report). If details are provided, they can be protected and caveated to a limited staff only.

Contact details for Fisheries offices can be found here.


It is possible to contact the DPIRD via letter, direct message to the Fisheries WA Facebook page, or via submission of a general enquiry online form on the Department’s website, however, these methods are not preferred as they take time to be directed to an appropriate Fisheries Officer and may not be responded to or dealt with in a timely manner.


DPIRD is investigating other methods of potential reporting and WRL will communicate those methods if they are implemented.

Calling FishWatch on 1800 815 507 is the best way for you to provide intelligence anonymously and WRL encourages you to do so. Further information about FishWatch, including the type of information that is helpful to assist with investigations, can be found here.


Posted in Industry News