A JOINT agency operation between NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) from Fisheries Queensland has resulted in more than $10,000 in fines for a group of anglers caught disregarding fishing rules on both sides of the border rivers at Bridgewater.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Director of Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said the cross-border patrol checked a large camp of more than 40 fishers on the Dumaresq River upstream of Boggabilla.
“NSW fisheries officers issued 13 fines totalling almost $4500 to seven men between the ages of 20 and 72 years,” Tritton said.
“Offences included using more than two hand-held lines, possessing prohibited fishing gear, leaving lines unattended, failing to carry fishing licences and using live fin fish as bait.
“A collection of illegal fishing gear was also seized, including 48 set lines (15 with double hooks attached), two cast nets, and one 21 metre hand-hauled yabby net.”
QBFP District Officer Coby Walker said that the centre of the border rivers (Dumaresq, Macintyre and Barwon) formed the border between NSW and Queensland and, although the fishers had set up camp on the NSW side, they were committing offences on both sides of the river.
“On the QLD side, QBFP apprehended nine people and issued fines for 20 offences, totalling $6000,” he said.
“These offences included failure to mark set lines and failure to be in attendance of lines.
“Fishing rules and regulations can be different across state borders, but individuals are responsible for knowing the rules for the area they intend to fish and sticking to them – ignorance is no excuse.”
Queensland and NSW Fisheries officers work collaboratively throughout the border regions to ensure effective monitoring of the area. Authorities on both sides of the river rely on the support of the public to help protect our fishing resources for future generations.
Information on illegal fishing in NSW should be reported to the Fisher’s Watch Phone Line on 1800 043 536 and in Queensland to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.