QBFP officers from Hervey Bay with the seized fish and nets. Photos: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Fisheries Operation Targets Family Syndicate

A QUEENSLAND Boating and Fisheries Patrol operation across central Queensland targeting a family syndicate profiting from unlawful fishing activities resulted in successful prosecutions.

QBFP district manager Greg Bowness said three men from one family had been prosecuted as a result of the fisheries operation, resulting in fines of $28,500 and the forfeiture of a large number of seized items. “This is the culmination of a QBFP operation across Central Queensland to target a family syndicate of recreational fishers intent on profiting from unlawful activities,” Mr Bowness said.

“Officers executed search warrants on three residential properties in Tannum Sands and Howard in June last year, seizing 23 commercial fishing nets, 30 female mud crabs, three regulated mud crabs and 201 excess fish. “Two fishers were previously found guilty of offences in the Gladstone Magistrates’ Court.

“In the latest court appearance, a Fraser Coast man pleaded guilty to six charges of possessing commercial fishing nets and possessing excess and regulated fish and was fined $13,000.” Mr Bowness said the prosecutions are the direct result of intelligence-based patrol work and collaboration between QBFP officers.

If anyone suspects illegal fishing, they should report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116 so it can be investigated. For more information on Queensland’s fishing rules, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23. You can follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook and Twitter (@FisheriesQld).

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