A COMMERCIAL fisher has been fined $15,000 for trawling in a marine park and not having his vessel tracking unit turned on.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the fisher was found guilty in the Sandgate Magistrates’ Court of fishing without operating a vessel tracking unit on three occasions, and also for commercial fishing in the Middle Moreton Bay Marine Park Zone, which is prohibited.
“The fisher was trawling in a green zone, which is a serious offence,” Mr Furner said. “The operator’s commercial fishing boat licence has since been cancelled for non-payment of fees. This prosecution is a great example of the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol working closely with a partner agency, in this case the Department of Environment and Science, to get a successful outcome.
“QBFP uses a range of techniques and technology to uncover illegal activities, including surveillance cameras. We also recently deployed drones as part of our compliance enforcement effort, making it even harder for people to hide illegal activities.”
Mr Furner said enforcing fishing rules would leave a legacy of a sustainable fishery for our children and grandchildren.
“It is vitally important that anyone thinking about casting a line in Queensland knows and follows our state’s fishing regulations,” Mr Furner said. “Our state’s fisheries resources belong to all Queenslanders and it is our job to protect fish for the future. Fish stocks are a resource that belong to all Queenslanders and protecting them protects thousands of jobs in both the commercial and recreational sectors.”
For more information on Queensland’s fishing regulations, visit fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free Qld Fishing app from Apple and Google app stores.