Fishermen receive massive fine for illegal catch


TWO recreational fishers found with a large catch of undersized fish and mud crabs in Far North Queensland have been fined $19,000.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol field officer Trevor Thomson said valuable information from a member of the public led fisheries officers to identifying the offenders.

“QBFP officers searched a van during a patrol at Barrumundi Creek between Ayr and Townsville and found 56 undersize fish including 44 barred javelin, 11 pikey bream and one goldenline whiting, with 12 undersize mud crabs,” Thomson said.
“Fisheries officers also discovered seven mangrove branches, which are a protected marine plant.”
Two recreational fishers were charged with nine offences under the Fisheries Act including possessing undersized fish and unmarked fishing apparatus, unlawfully damaging marine plants and obstruction of a fisheries inspector.
An Ayr Magistrate fined one of the fishers $10,000 and gave the second man a $9,000 fine, with no convictions recorded.
Thomson said the penalties should serve as a reminder to fishers to adhere to Queensland’s fish size and possession limits which are in place to protect fish stocks for future generations.
If anyone suspects illegal fishing activity, they should report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116. Visit the website for more information on Queensland fishing rules and regulations or call 13 25 23.