Queensland crabber nets big fine

A BRISBANE man has been convicted and fined $26,850 for multiple fisheries and marine offences. Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol District Manager Brett Depper said the matter was heard in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 8 May, where the recreational fisher was fined for three separate complaints that occurred between March and April 2012.

The fisher was found guilty of:

  • possession of 53 undersized mud crabs
  • possession of 34 female mud crabs
  • possession of 3 mud crabs in excess of bag limit
  • using 14 crab pots in excess of the number permitted
  • using 18 unmarked crab pots
  • unlicensed operation of a vessel
  • displaying incorrect registration symbols
  • failing to ensure the vessel displayed navigation lights.

Mr Depper said the conviction and fine should serve as a warning to fishers to stick to the rules. “While the vast majority of fishers keep to the rules, there is a small and persistent minority who do not,” he said.

“These people need to realise that their catch can and will be checked at any time of the day or night.

“Our enforcement actions in this case highlight the abilities of the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol in monitoring our important fishery resources. I hope this penalty will serve as a future deterrent.

“Compliance agencies such as QBFP, Water Police and Maritime Safety Queensland often work together to ensure effective monitoring of all areas.

“We recently increased the number of patrols across the state to combat the rising reports of illegal crabbing activities.

“Those doing the wrong thing will be caught and will pay the price.”

Mr Depper said fishers are reminded to be aware of Queensland’s size and possession limits before going crabbing.

“In Queensland, the minimum size requirement of mud crabs is 15cm measuring across the widest part of the crab’s carapace. The legal bag limit is 10 crabs per person,” he said.

“Fishers are also reminded that female mud crabs are a protected species in Queensland and cannot be taken from the water at any time, and that fishers can only use a maximum of 4 crab pots at any one time.”

QBFP rely on the support of the public to help protect fishing resources for future generations. People who suspect illegal crabbing are urged to report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.

For more information on fishing rules in Queensland, visit or call 13 25 23.

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