$2400 in fines for overfishing pipis

QUEENSLAND Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers found 1763 pipis when they intercepted five recreational fishers in a four-wheel-drive vehicle on North Stradbroke Island.

With a possession limit of 50 pipis per person in Queensland, the fishers were legally allowed to collect only 250. Two of the recreational fishers from Brisbane were charged for taking excess pipis and each fined $1200 in the Cleveland Magistrates’ Court. Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol field officer Chris Watts said the three other fishers who were overseas tourists had left Australia before legal action commenced.

“QBFP received information about a group of fishers collecting pipis on Main Beach at North Stradbroke Island on July 14, 2015,” Mr Watts said. “Officers intercepted a vehicle and discovered three Eskies containing a total of 1763 pipis. The vehicle’s driver said the shellfish were collected for personal use. All the pipis were counted and released alive back on the Main Beach at North Stradbroke Island.”

Mr Watts reminded fishers that a combined possession limit of 50 applied to bivalve molluscs and gastropods including pipis, mud whelks and cockles. “Possession limits include any that have been collected previously and have not yet been consumed,” Mr Watts said. “For example, if you have 25 pipis at home, you can only take and keep another 25.”

Fishers have a responsibility to ensure they understand and are up to date with Queensland’s fishing rules. For more information on Queensland fishing rules, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free Qld Fishing app from Apple and Google app stores. If you suspect illegal fishing, report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116. You can follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook and Twitter (@FisheriesQld).

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