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Geraldton rock lobster fisher Sam Vincent Basile cops $8 million penalty for overfishing

By AAP

A commercial rock lobster catcher in Western Australia’s Mid West region has been slapped with the heaviest fishing offence-related penalties in the state’s history — almost $8 million.

Geraldton-based Sam Vincent Basile repeatedly committed offences including fishing in zones he hadn’t nominated, breaching his licence, and was caught on satellite.

He has had his licence cancelled, worth $7.5 million, and will lose a further $302,000 in fines and court costs.

Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley said the sentence came after a three-year investigation and he hoped it would send a message to the industry “that we won’t take cheats lightly”.

“The natural resource of Western Australia … is the property of Western Australia,” Mr Tinley told reporters on Wednesday.

“The McGowan government won’t countenance crooks and cheats who want to steal off the people.”

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