MARINE VAN­DAL: Com­pany fined $40k for dam­ag­ing plants:

The com­pany dumped soil on plants in Toogoom

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE -

A COM­PANY was fined $40,000 in Her­vey Bay Mag­is­trates Court for caus­ing dam­age to marine plants.

Speak­ing after the court pro­ceed­ings, Queens­land Boat­ing and Fish­eries Pa­trol dis­trict man­ager Greg Bow­ness said Fish­eries Queens­land takes the de­struc­tion of marine plants se­ri­ously.

Mr Bow­ness said the com­pany had ex­ca­vated soil from a nearby dam and placed it on marine plants at Toogoom.

“The marine plants were de­stroyed and the com­pany was sub­se­quently charged un­der the Fish­eries Act

1994,” Mr Bow­ness said.

Aside from the $40,000 fine, the com­pany was or­dered to pay $7594.33 in pro­fes­sional costs.

Mr Bow­ness said all marine plants which in­cludes man­groves, salt­marsh and sea­grass, were pro­tected un­der Queens­land law.

“This pro­tec­tion ap­plies all land tenures, in­clud­ing pri­vate, lease­hold or pub­lic lands and whether the marine plants are alive or dead,” he said.

“Check with Fish­eries Queens­land prior to un­der­tak­ing any ac­tiv­i­ties around marine plants as heavy penal­ties ap­ply to any unau­tho­rised dis­tur­bances.”

The case was heard in Her­vey Bay Mag­is­trates Court last month.

Fish­eries Queens­land also suc­cess­fully pros­e­cuted two un­li­censed fish­ers re­cently.

A fisher was fined $2000 in the Yep­poon Mag­is­trates Court for un­law­fully at­tempt­ing to sell fish­eries re­sources.

An­other fisher, who was charged with five counts of un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of com­mer­cial fish­ing ap­pa­ra­tus, was fined $2800 and or­dered to pay $1000 in pro­fes­sional costs in the Bund­aberg Mag­is­trates Court.

To re­port sus­pected il­le­gal fish­ing ac­tiv­ity, call the Fish­watch hot­line on

1800 017 116.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Queens­land’s fish­ing reg­u­la­tions, visit fish­eries.qld.gov.au.

Check with Fish­eries Queens­land prior to un­der­tak­ing any ac­tiv­i­ties around marine plants ...

— Greg Bow­ness

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