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    Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland
    The Honourable Tim Mulherin

    Recreational crab fisher lands $30k fine

    Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland
    The Honourable Tim Mulherin

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Recreational crab fisher lands $30k fine

    An Inala man has been fined $30,000 after being found guilty of serious breaches of Queensland’s fishing legislation.

    Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin said the man was caught in a targeted raid by Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) officers.

    “QBFP officers boarded the man’s boat in Nundah Creek near Sandgate in November last year,” Mr Mulherin said.

    “In December last year QBFP officers again boarded the man’s boat in Hays Inlet in the Redcliffe region.

    “Following those two targeted raids, the man was charged with a number of offences, including using unmarked crab pots and possessing a commercial fishing net without a license.

    “He was found in possession of 52 undersize mud crabs and 49 female mud crabs, and faced two charges of being in excess of the possession limit for mud crabs.

    “The man appeared in the Redcliffe Magistrates Court on 1 September where he was found guilty and fined.

    “With such a myriad of offences it is good to see Magistrates taking a hard line on large scale fisheries offences.

    “I’d like to congratulate QBFP officers who did an exceptional job in catching the offender who had been deliberately flouting the law for significant financial gain.”

    Mr Mulherin said Fisheries Queensland had carried out a number of significant prosecutions over the past year for illegal crabbing.

    “More than $135,000 worth of fines have been handed out this year for crabbing offences alone,” Mr Mulherin said.

    “While the vast majority of fishers know the rules and follow them, there are those who are prepared to deliberately and continually break the law for their own gain.

    “These people need to be caught and prosecuted as their actions threaten the sustainability of our fish stocks.

    “Illegal fishers are impacting on the fishing experience and livelihoods of those who do the right thing.

    “We have one of the world’s best and most sustainable fisheries and that is something Queenslanders are proud of and it is certainly something we want to protect.”

    QBFP senior compliance officer Michael Mikitis said serial crab fishing offenders should be aware that they would face hefty fines if caught.

    “Overall compliance rates are good, at 94 per cent this year,” he said.

    “Most recreational fishers who go out to enjoy a good day’s fishing don’t break Queensland’s rules and regulations.

    “However, there is always the small minority who chose to do the wrong thing.

    If someone breaks the law, they are likely to be targeted by QBFP officers and we are prepared to take them court.”

    Fisheries Queensland is part of the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation.

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