Theft of Aquaculture Stock
Amendments to Section 370 of the Criminal Code passed in 2004 meant that aquatic organisms such as marron are now included in the list of living things that could deemed under law to have been stolen. This amendment provides greater protection for marron farmers and other people with aquaculture projects in private waters on private property from having their stock stolen.
In the event of a theft of stock from your property, please refer to the following protocol. It should be used as a guide only; Commonsense, and the safety of persons involved should always be the foremost consideration.
- The police do not recommend approaching the offenders.
- Note as many details as possible of the offenders and vehicles. Refer to this Guide.
- Telephone the local police station by phoning 131 444.
- If the offenders are still present or nearby, telephone both the Police and the local Department of Fisheries.
- Try to avoid alerting the offenders that you are aware of their presence. This allows the police and Fisheries a better chance to apprehend them.
- If possible, use a still or video camera to obtain evidence of offenders or vehicles. It may be worthwhile to carry a camera in your vehicle or with you when out on the farm.
- If the offender’s vehicle is observed to depart, alert the police. A description of the vehicle and direction of travel will be required.
- Avoid disturbing tyre tracks or footprints as they can provide valuable evidence.
- Do not approach the scene of the crime as evidence can be easily contaminated thus resulting in its loss or inadmissibility in court.
- Do not touch items left behind or interfered with by the offenders unless instructed to by Police. This is to avoid destroying or contaminate DNA evidence.
- Report all incidents to Police, even if the offence has not been completed e.g. attempted stealing.
Seek your neighbour's support to note the presence of unusual cars, people and ensure that they note details (Guide).
Ways to Prevent Aquaculture Stock Theft
The following options are available to aquaculture farmers to reduce the risk of stock theft:
- Boundary Fencing
- Use Guard Dogs
- Sensory Lighting
- Security Alarms
- Security Guards
- Video surveillance