Fishwatch tip off leads to big fine for uncooperative fisher
Published Thursday, 17 February, 2022 at 03:37 PM
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner
A commercial fisher who repeatedly failed to stop to allow Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) officers to inspect his vehicle and boat, did not maintain logbooks properly and had non-compliant nets, has been fined $15,000 in the Caboolture Magistrates Court.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the offences took place on a number of occasions, on and off the water, over a period of about six months.
“In one instance the fisher motored away from QBFP officers on the Caboolture River and threw a number of fish overboard to avoid inspection,” Mr Furner said.
The Magistrate noted a lack of remorse on the part of the fisher, his lack of cooperation with the administration of justice, disobedience to fisheries officers and disregard for the legislation protecting the resource.
While no conviction was recorded, he was fined $15,000 plus costs and his nets seized.
Mr Furner said it was a high price for such unnecessary behaviour.
“It was never going to end any other way – if you blatantly do the wrong thing and refuse to cooperate, you will be prosecuted,” he said.
“In fact, QBFP first became aware of the fisher’s activities as a result of information provided via the toll-free 24-hour Fishwatch 1800 017 116 Hotline.
“All fishers need to be aware of the laws that ensure the sustainability of our fisheries resources.
“This prosecution outcome is a powerful reminder offending is not supported by our community and penalties can be severe.”
For information on Queensland’s fishing regulations, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free ‘Qld Fishing’ app from Apple and Google app stores.
Media contact: Ron Goodman 0427 781 920
Image for download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ve1s5sugr1u171/QBFP%20inspecting%20nets.jpg?dl=0
QBFP Officer inspecting unmarked nets
Credit: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries