Gill net men caught by

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

TWO men were found us­ing an il­le­gal gill net at Wonga Beach last Sun­day, af­ter Port Dou­glas Fish­eries pa­trol of­fi­cers con­ducted a raid.

The depart­ment stepped in af­ter tip offs from local Wonga Beach res­i­dents about gill­net­ting ac­tiv­i­ties on the local fore­shore.

Fish­eries Queens­land said there were three le­gal threadfin and two un­der­size spot­ted grunter found in the net next to a camp­site where the two men were.

“Queens­land Boat­ing and Fish­eries Pa­trol of­fi­cers from Port Dou­glas seized a com­mer­cial fish­ing net set on Wonga Beach on Sun­day,” a spokes­woman said.

“An in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter is on­go­ing and no fines have been is­sued at this stage.

“Recre­ational fishers in Queens­land are not per­mit­ted to use com­mer­cial fish­ing ap­pa­ra­tus, in­clud­ing gill nets.

“A Fish­eries In­fringe­ment No­tice of $1000 could ap­ply to those found us­ing com­mer­cial ap­pa­ra­tus.”

Sus­tain­able Fish­eries Net­work co­or­di­na­tor David Cook who is also a Wonga res­i­dent said ev­ery­one should do the right thing and fol­low all reg­u­la­tions and only use per­mit­ted gear.

“Some of the big stores in Cairns sell th­ese nets to the pub­lic and that should be made il­le­gal for a start - they are as much to blame as the poor sods who can’t re­sist chanc­ing their luck” he said.

“Our in­shore fish num­bers are so low th­ese days that il­le­gal gill­net­ting is a very an­ti­so­cial be­hav­ior, es­pe­cially with th­ese four inch nets that kill ju­ve­nile fish such as bar­ra­mundi.

“The only le­gal way to use a gill net is when some­one has the ap­pro­pri­ate com­mer­cial fish­ing li­cense or when Tra­di­tional Own­ers have been awarded a short-term per­mit for a spe­cial In­dige­nous Tra­di­tional cer­e­mony.”

Fish­eries Queens­land said If il­le­gal fish­ing is wit­nessed or sus­pected, it should be re­ported to the Fish­watch hot­line on 1800 017 116.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www. fish­

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