Shell-fishers caught with illegal catch in Moreton Bay closed waters
Published Saturday, 11 December, 2021 at 11:30 AM
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner
Recreational fishers are reminded that harvesting some shellfish species from Moreton Bay is prohibited to help their populations recover.
Member for Redlands Kim Richards said fisheries officers are receiving an increasing number of reports about fishers breaking the rules.
“Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers recently responded to a call to the Fishwatch hotline and found four offenders at Thorneside in possession of hundreds of gastropods,” Ms Richards said.
“A vehicle search uncovered 645 mud whelks and the offenders were issued with Fisheries Infringement Notice fines of $2,204 in total.”
Following consultation and support from Moreton Bay residents, the Queensland Government in 2019 introduced new management arrangements to protect gastropod and bivalve molluscs from excessive harvesting.
Member for Pumicestone Ali King said the species are highly susceptible to depletion because they are sedentary and can be easily harvested in fishing grounds close to urban centres.
“These restrictions were necessary so we can build a legacy of a sustainable fishery for our children and grandchildren,” Ms King said.
“Gastropod and bivalve molluscs including mud arks, mud whelks and cockles, cannot be taken from closed waters in Moreton Bay.
“The closure applies within the northern, eastern and southern boundaries of the Moreton Bay Marine Park including the existing foreshore closures at Wynnum, Nudgee Beach, Bramble Bay and Deception Bay.”
Outside of Moreton Bay, a combined possession limit of 30 bilvalve molluscs or gastropods applies per person.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers will be conducting their regular compliance checks around Moreton Bay closed waters and urged fishers to always fish by the rules.
“Our state’s fisheries resources belong to all Queenslanders and it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect fish stocks for the future,” Mr Furner said.
People who suspect illegal fishing activity should report it to the 24 hour toll-free Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.
For more information on Queensland fishing rules and regulations, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free ‘Qld Fishing 2.0’ app from Apple and Google app stores.
Media contact: Ron Goodman 0427 781 920
Video for download – please credit Department of Agriculture and Fisheries