A RECREATIONAL fisher charged with possessing a regulated commercial fishing net and illegal fish has been convicted and fined $6000 and had his boat forfeited in the Ayr Magistrates’ Court.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol 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 September 18 last year and seized an Esky containing a quantity of barramundi fillets and two undersized mud crabs,” he 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 three offences under the Fisheries Act 1994 in the Ayr Magistrates’ Court.
“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 16m with a mesh size no more than 28mm or a drop of 3m.
“In this case, the net was 32m long, had a mesh size of 125mm and a drop of 4.125m.
“This fisher was found to be over the possession limit of five 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 it can be investigated.
For more information on Queensland’s fishing rules, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.
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