Rec fisho cops big fine and loses boat

A RECREATIONAL fisher charged with possessing a regulated commercial fishing net and illegal fish has been convicted and fined $6,000 and had his boat forfeited in the Ayr Magistrates Court.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) acting district officer Trevor Thomson said the man was a repeat offender and the prosecution followed a joint investigation with the Queensland Police Service.

“Police intercepted a vehicle near Barratta Creek in the early morning hours of 18 September last year and seized an esky containing a quantity of barramundi fillets and two undersized mud crabs,” Thomson said.

“A boat and fish frames were found nearby and when QBFP officers returned with police the next day they discovered a regulated fishing net wrapped in shade cloth hidden in mangroves.”

Mr Thomson said the fisher pleaded guilty to 3 offences under the Fisheries Act 1994 in the Ayr Magistrates Court last week.

“The court recorded a conviction, fined the fisher $6,000 plus court costs, and ordered the forfeiture of the man’s boat, net and fish,” he said.

“Under Queensland law, a recreational fisher cannot possess a regulated commercial fishing net without an authority.

“The regulations limit a recreational fisher to possessing or using a seine net that is no longer than 16 metres, with a mesh size no more than 28mm or a drop of three metres.

“In this case, the net was 32 metres long, had a mesh size of 125 millimetres and a drop of 4.125 metres.

“This fisher was found to be over the possession limit of 5 barramundi by 15 fish and he had two mud crabs under the legal size limit of 15cm.”

If anyone suspects illegal fishing, they should report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116 so that it can be investigated.

For more information on Queensland’s fishing rules, visit the Queensland Fisheries website, call 13 25 23 or follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook and Twitter.

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