Boatie prosecuted for obstructing fisheries officers

A BRISBANE boat skipper who refused to stop his vessel and motored off on the Logan River has been fined $1500 for obstructing fisheries officers.

Beenleigh Magistrates’ Court imposed the penalty for a charge of obstruction, a serious offence under fisheries laws that has a maximum penalty of $126,150. Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol field officer James Hohenhaus said officers were on patrol near the Alberton boat ramp in the early hours of the morning in August 2016.

“A vessel was being put onto a boat trailer and while fisheries officers were speaking with the vehicle’s driver, the boat was reversed into the Logan River,” Mr Hohenhaus said. “Despite being directed to stop, the vessel’s master continued downstream without navigation lights on and failed to return to the boat ramp. The boat skipper deliberately obstructed fisheries officers in the course of their investigation. His actions meant we could not inspect the vessel to ensure the fishing catch on board complied with fisheries laws.”

Mr Hohenhaus said fisheries officers have powers under the Fisheries Act 1994 to stop and search a vessel. “This is a reminder that any person who obstructs an officer from doing their duty can be prosecuted,” he said. “It’s important that everyone abides by the rules as fisheries officers carry out the important task of protecting Queensland’s valuable fisheries stocks from exploitation.”

If anyone suspects illegal fishing activity, they should report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116 so it can be investigated. For more information on Queensland fishing rules and regulations, visit fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23. You can follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook and Twitter (@FisheriesQld).

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