Unlicensed trawler operator cops big fine
Published Tuesday, 07 February, 2023 at 09:45 AM
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner
A commercial fisher has been fined $9,000 in the Cairns Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to trawling for prawns without a commercial fisher licence.
The Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) brought five charges against the fisher relating to conducting commercial fishing operations without holding an active commercial fisher licence.
The fisher had his Iicence cancelled for non-payment of fees, but continued to fish throughout 2021 targeting Tiger, Endeavour and Banana prawns.
An audit of reporting obligations by Fisheries Queensland showed the fisher was operating under a cancelled licence. Follow up at-sea inspections by QBFP confirmed the offending.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the vast majority of commercial fishers did the right thing, but anybody who didn’t comply would be found out.
“This prosecution is a warning that offending is not supported by our community and penalties can be significant,” Mr Furner said.
“There are many good jobs relying on sustainable stocks of Queensland seafood, and the vast majority of fishers are doing the right thing.”
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