Heartless? thieves hit fisherman



THE heartless theft of fishing equipment from a professional mesher has 'crippled' him and his family's livelihood.

Steve Pateman was away from his punt for less than two hours on Thursday night, enough time for thieves to steal $6000 worth of gear.

The items included a 20hp Mariner outboard motor and red fuel tank, a 260-litre red tropical ice box and 380 metres of brand new net used for catching mullet.

"The fishermen here are already in a crippling industry without someone coming along and doing this to a man," Mr Pateman said.

"That is a $12,000 turnaround that I have to find and it isn't that easy with the way the industry is.

"They took 80 per cent of my nets.

"I just hope the person who reads this feels some kind of guilt about what they have done and maybe if someone sees any of the gear they can alert the police."

Thefts from the wharves north of the Maclean Golf Club along the Lawrence Road are not uncommon, with thousands of dollars worth of gear stolen less than six months ago.

And because the gear stolen is used in commercial fishing, most believe it is someone within their own ranks.

"You would think, with the gear that is stolen that it is another fishermen, which makes it an even lower act considering we are all in the same boat as each other when it comes to the harshness of the industry."

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