FISH­ERIES NET IL­LE­GAL CRABBERS

Author­i­ties is­sue 74 fines dur­ing five-day oper­a­tion

NewsMail - - FRONT PAGE - MIKAYLA HAUPT mikayla.haupt@news-mail.com.au

TWENTY-ONE UN­MARKED CRAB POTS AND TWO FISH­ING NETS OF A COM­MER­CIAL SIZE WERE SEIZED. DERYK SMITH

FISH­ERIES have been kept busy pa­trolling the re­gion’s wa­ters and de­tect­ing a “sig­nif­i­cant amount of il­le­gal fish­ing ac­tiv­ity”.

Queens­land Boat­ing and Fish­eries Pa­trol act­ing district of­fi­cer Deryk Smith said Queens­land Boat­ing and Fish­eries Pa­trol con­ducted a five­day oper­a­tion fo­cussing on mud crab fish­ing in the wider Bund­aberg area.

The pa­trols took in 13 rivers and creeks be­tween the Bur­rum River and Baf­fle Creek, in­clud­ing the El­liott, Bur­nett and Kolan river sys­tems.

“Fish­eries of­fi­cers de­tected a sig­nif­i­cant amount of il­le­gal fish­ing ac­tiv­ity and is­sued 62 Fish­eries In­fringe­ment No­tices and 12 Ma­rine In­fringe­ment No­tices,” Mr Smith said.

“Thirty-six FINs were is­sued for of­fences re­lat­ing to mud crab­bing in­clud­ing pos­ses­sion of fe­male and un­der­sized mud crabs, in­ter­fer­ence with crab­bing ap­pa­ra­tus, fail­ure to mark crab ap­pa­ra­tus and us­ing ex­cess crab ap­pa­ra­tus.

“Twenty-one un­marked crab pots and two fish­ing nets of a com­mer­cial size were seized.”

He said QBFP car­ried out tar­geted oper­a­tions to en­sure com­pli­ance with fish­eries reg­u­la­tions and in re­sponse to com­mu­nity con­cerns and tipoffs.

“In re­cent months, there have been mul­ti­ple oper­a­tions and in­ves­ti­ga­tions into il­le­gal crab­bing ac­tiv­ity across Queens­land, with day and night pa­trols on water­ways and at boat ramps, in­clud­ing the use of spe­cialised sur­veil­lance equip­ment like hid­den cam­eras,” Mr Smith said.

The rules and reg­u­la­tions in place are for fish­ing in Queens­land to pro­tect and con­serve fish stocks.

Mr Smith said by fol­low­ing the rules the state’s valu­able fish­eries re­sources would be around for cur­rent and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of Queens­lan­ders to en­joy.

“Fish­ers should be fa­mil­iar with size and pos­ses­sion lim­its for dif­fer­ent fish species, how to cor­rectly mea­sure fish, the re­stric­tions on fish­ing gear and when closed sea­sons ap­ply.”

The rules are on the free Qld Fish­ing smart­phone app, at www.fish­eries.qld.gov.au or by phon­ing 13 25 23.

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