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Photo: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Redlands: Fisher fined for obstructing officer

QUEENSLAND Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers enforce fisheries laws to ensure the sustainability of Queensland’s fisheries resources.

Officers undertake patrols across the state and have powers to board and search recreational and commercial fishing vessels to ensure compliance with state fisheries laws. Last week, a Redlands man was ordered by the Cleveland Magistrates’ Court to pay $1800 for obstruction of a uniformed fisheries officer.

QBFP Redlands field officer James Hohenhaus said in August last year officers were undertaking routine patrol duties between Pannikin Island and Long Island. “Officers approached a commercial fishing vessel for the purpose of undertaking a routine inspection of the vessel’s catch,” Mr Hohenhaus said. “The person in charge of the vessel, however, stated that one particular officer could not get on board but that the other officer could, and blocked him from boarding.”

Mr Hohenhaus said fisheries officers have powers under the Fisheries Act 1994 to search and inspect a vessel’s catch. “This is a reminder that any person who obstructs an officer or threatens an officer doing their duty can and will be prosecuted,” he said. “After continually refusing to allow the officer to safely board the vessel and threatening the officer, the man was charged with obstruction. It is important that everyone abides by the rules as fisheries officers carry out the important task of protecting the state’s fisheries stocks from exploitation.”

If anyone suspects illegal fishing, please report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116 so it can be investigated. For more information on fishing rules, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.

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