Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district manager Rob McDonald said the fishers were found in possession of 24 spotted mackerel and 11 spanish mackerel after a tip-off from a member of the public.
“A possession limit refers to the total number of fish an individual can legally take and have in their possession at any one time – it does not apply on a per-day basis,” he said.
“This includes fish you have caught previously that are in your Esky, on your boat or in the freezer at home.
“Spotted mackerel have a possession limit of five and spanish mackerel have a possession limit of three, which means these three fishers were over their permitted individual limits.”
The skipper of the vessel was fined $3000 at the Southport Magistrates Court in February for exceeding possession limits and an additional $1000 for obstructing officers.
The two passengers were fined $2500 each for exceeding their possession limits.
Mr McDonald said QBFP officers located excess fish in a hidden compartment on board the vessel.
“During the inspection, the skipper continually denied that there were more fish on the boat other than what was in the Esky,” he said. “However, the officers found a hidden compartment underneath a toolbox that was accessed by pulling back the carpet and removing a metal plate. “The fine issued for obstruction serves as an important warning that a person in control of the boat or vehicle must give reasonable help to the officers conducting the inspection.
“If we are to continue to enjoy fishing, everyone must share the resources and abide by the laws. “Fishers need to familiarise themselves with the size and possession limits for all Queensland’s regulated species by checking www.fisheries.qld.gov.au” If you suspect illegal fishing, whether seen in person or online, report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.
Don’t engage the person, as this can compromise an investigation. All information provided to the hotline will be prioritised based on potential fishery risks, accuracy and reliability, with an appropriate response formulated.
For more information on Queensland fishing closures, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free Qld Fishing app from Apple and Google app stores.