water police fishing in lockdown
MSQ general manager Angus Mitchell said some boaties have already been turned around at boat ramps.

No fishing in lockdown – anglers turned around at SEQ boat ramps

‘Fishing for food’ not an excuse – no fishing in lockdown

Boaties and anglers are being warned to abide by the south-east Queensland lockdown restrictions, with rules on the land also applying to the sea.

Authorities say they’ve had to turn people around at boat ramps across the south-east, with some trying to take advantage of “wording loopholes” for a day out on the boat.

Maritime Safety Queensland’s Angus Taylor said officers are out on the water enforcing Covid rules and those caught flouting them will be warned and fined.

Eleven south-east Queensland LGA’s remain in lockdown until Sunday, pending any Queensland Health updates, and authorities are warning people the rules apply to both land and sea.

According to Maritime Safety Queensland general manager Angus Taylor, authorities have had to turn some hopeful anglers around at boat ramps across the south east, including locations like the Gold Coast and Bribie Island.

He said some boaties had attempted to abuse “loopholes” to justify their trip and warned others not to try.

No fishing in lockdown

He said “fishing for food” does not count as an excuse.

“That’s been clear from the Chief Health Officer.

“If there’s other means for you to get your food, and there is, you can go to buy fish in supermarkets, those facilities are still open.

“And that’s if you need to get food, don’t use it as an excuse to get out boating, it’s only for a short amount of time”.

According to Mr Mitchell, there are only a few reasons people should be out on boats.

“Whether you’re on the land or water, the rules are exactly the same,” he said.

“Recreational boating at the moment is one of those things we can’t do, it’s very clear, essential purposes only.

“But if you need to go out for essential purposes, work, for medical assistance, to the shops, it’s the same on the water and if you’re sitting in your house.

“At the moment yes it’s very restricted, and hopefully it’s only a very short period of time before those restrictions are lifted and we can get back to normal activities.

He said authorities would be out traversing south-east Queensland water in coming days ensuring compliance.

“Queensland Police, as well as boating and fisheries, have already been out patrolling waterways and also boat ramps,” he said.

“We have already had to turn around a number of people who had started to venture out, but fortunately only a few.

“But we haven’t had to issues an infringement notice and let’s hope we can get through the rest of this lockdown without having to issue any”.

First published on abc.net.au

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