A commercial fisher has been convicted and fined $20,000 and ordered to pay over $4,000 in costs in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court for illegal crabbing offences.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) officer Greg Bowness said the fisher also had his commercial fishing licence suspended for two months and was required to forfeit a quantity of fishing gear.
'QBFP officers boarded a commercial crabbing vessel to conduct an inspection after receiving complaints from industry,' Mr Bowness said.
'During the inspection, all lines being used were identified and checked.
'Throughout the course of the operation, officers located and hauled in a number of excess lines that were identified as having been used by the crabber.
'One of the lines was found to have 12 pots attached which exceeded the legal maximum limit of 10.
'When investigations concluded, the fisher was charged for using 62 excess crab apparatus, failing to mark 10 apparatus and failing to identify the number of pots on a line.'
Mr Bowness said the fine sends a clear message to industry that those doing the wrong thing will be caught and prosecuted.
If you suspect illegal fishing, whether seen in person or online, report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116. Don’t engage the person, as this can compromise an investigation.
For more information on fishing rules in Queensland, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au
or call 13 25 23.
Follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook and Twitter (@FisheriesQld).