TWO men have been slapped with hefty fines after they failed to front court on illegal fishing charges.
George John Frisk and Richard John Thorne did not show up in Boggabilla Local Court last week to answer five charges stemming from the seizure in May.
The 47- and 59-year-old were confronted by officers from the Department of Primary Industries during a fishing expedition on the Border Rivers between Boggabilla and Texas.
The Inverell-based fisheries officers charged the pair, from Minden in south-east Queensland, and seized their boat, after they found A 47m long fishing net, illegal in NSW. A second monofilament meshing net, which measured 79m in length, was also discovered at their camp site.
The pair were both charged with unlawful use of a net and possessing fish illegally taken, while Frisk was also slapped with one additional count of possessing prohibited fishing gear – offences under the NSW fisheries management act.
The department said the equipment was illegal because the mesh netting can entangle fish that die within a matter of hours.
It said the meshing nets and gill nets can also pose a serious threat to protected fauna such as platypus, turtles, water fowl and some species of reptiles.
In a hearing in Boggabilla Local Court, Magistrate Darryl Pearce viewed an extensive brief containing photos and statements, detailing the evidence against the pair.
Mr Pearce said the evidence was enough to convict the pair in their absence under the legislation.
Thorne was fined $2800 for his two charges, while Frisk was issued fines of $3800 for his three offences.
The pair were also slapped with $1100 each in professional costs and have 28 days to pay.