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Moreton Bay mangrove vandals investigated

THE illegal destruction of mangroves on the foreshore at Lota on Brisbane’s southside is likely to impact on local fish and crab populations.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district manager Brett Depper said recent reports of deliberate poisoning and cutting of mangroves at Lota were being investigated.

“Several mangroves on the seaward edge of this community have evidence of die back,” Mr Depper said.

“We are urging anyone with information to contact the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.”

Mr Depper said that this is not the first time this type of mangrove destruction has happened in the area.

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“This is an ongoing problem and it is obvious that whoever is responsible for killing these plants has no respect for this vital community resource and no idea of the mangroves’ value to the local environment,” he said.

“If mangroves continue to be needlessly destroyed there will certainly be significant impacts on the precious resources of Moreton Bay.

“Any loss of mangroves like these will have a flow-on effect to the fish and crab populations they support.

“Healthy tidal fish habitats are not only important to the animals that live in or migrate through the bay, they also support important community activities such as fishing and help protect from erosion.”

Mr Depper said anyone caught destroying mangroves or marine plants will face heavy fines.

“Fines of up to $330,000 can be imposed for the destruction of marine plants,” he said.

“Marine plants including all mangroves, seagrass and saltmarsh species are protected by the Queensland Fisheries Act 1994 and prior approval is required for any works or activities that could disturb, destroy or damage them.

“This protection applies to all marine plants on private, leasehold and public lands and it doesn’t matter if these plants are deemed to be alive or dead.”

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For more information on mangroves, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23. 

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