undersized far north
Photo: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Hefty fines for undersized recreational catch in far north

TWO recreational fishers found with a large catch of undersized fish and mud crabs in far north Queensland have been fined $19,000 in the Ayr Magistrates’ Court.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol field officer Trevor Thomson said valuable information from a member of the public led fisheries officers to identifying the offenders. “QBFP officers searched a van during a patrol at Barramundi Creek between Ayr and Townsville and found 56 undersize fish including 44 barred javelin, 11 pikey bream and one goldenline whiting, with 12 undersize mud crabs,” Mr Thomson said.

“Fisheries officers also discovered seven mangrove branches, which are a protected marine plant.” Two recreational fishers were charged with nine offences under the Fisheries Act including possessing undersized fish and unmarked fishing apparatus, unlawfully damaging marine plants and obstruction of a fisheries inspector.

An Ayr magistrate fined one of the fishers $10,000 and gave the second man a $9000 fine, with no convictions recorded. Mr Thomson said the penalties should serve as a reminder to fishers to adhere to Queensland’s fish size and possession limits, which are in place to protect fish stocks for future generations. “This successful court prosecution also demonstrates how QBFP can achieve great results with the community’s assistance,” he said.

“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, call 13 25 23 or download the free Qld Fishing app from Apple and Google app stores.

You can follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@FisheriesQld).

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