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Commercial fisher fined $12,000

A NORTH Queensland commercial fisher has been fined $12,000 after being found guilty of four complaints comprising 19 charges under the Fisheries Act 1994.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol District Officer Dan Sweeney said the commercial fisher pleaded guilty to all four matters in the Cairns Magistrates’ Court. “The four matters involved a variety of offences including taking or possessing regulated fish for trade or commerce, interfering with a fishing apparatus and failing to comply with an information requirement,” Mr Sweeney said.

“The offences occurred at the Cromarty Creek boat ramp at Giru, south of Townsville in June 2016, in Redbank Creek near Cairns in August 2016 and near Princess Charlotte Bay in November 2016. QBFP officers found the defendant in possession of 12 undersized male mud crabs, a female mud crab and 28 mud crab claws. Officers also detected the defendant interfering with a crab pot not owned by him and found he had failed to complete his Queensland East Coast Net and Crab Logbook.”

Mr Sweeney said the fines imposed by the court acknowledged the seriousness of the offences.

“The fines imposed reinforce the need for fishers to be aware of and abide by the rules and regulations when fishing in fresh and tidal waters,” Mr Sweeney said. “Penalties for crabbing-related offences include on-the-spot fines, which range from $252 for undersized crabs and exceeding possession limits to $1261 for interfering with crabbing apparatus, while on-the-spot penalties for failing to comply with an information requirement is $504. The Queensland Recreational Boating and Fishing Guide provides a comprehensive guide of boating and fishing rules and responsibilities, and is available at www.daf.qld.gov.au.”

If you suspect illegal fishing, whether seen in person or online, report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116. Do not engage with the person, as this can compromise an investigation.

For more information on Queensland’s fishing regulations, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free ‘Qld Fishing’ app from Apple and Google app stores. Follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@FisheriesQld).

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