If you are aggressive towards Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers in Far North Queensland, don’t forget to smile – because you’ll be filmed on new body cameras.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the cameras were recommended in an independent risk assessment of fisheries officers working in the field.
“By its nature, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol field work can be hazardous and officers at times operate in difficult and often isolated environments,” Mr Furner said.
“The new body-worn cameras help to ensure the safety of Queensland fisheries patrol officers and assist them with compliance and prosecutions.
“We are progressively rolling out the cameras to officers at QBFP’s 19 bases state-wide.
“The camera footage is stored in a secure environment and reviewed if necessary.
“Footage from these cameras could be used to prosecute people who break the rules and is also a great way of promoting through social media the important work of the QBFP.”
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol monitors fisheries compliance by more than 642,000 recreational fishers and 1700 commercial fishing licence holders.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the new body cameras are among a range of high-tech tools provided to frontline fisheries compliance officers.
“Right here in Cairns, and across the rest of the state, our Fisheries officers have a huge job to protect ocean resources for everyone to share,” Mr Healy said.
“Fisheries officers operate along the Queensland coast, inland and in the Gulf of Carpentaria, covering 7000 kilometres of coastline and hundreds of inland fishing areas from far western Queensland to offshore waters 200 nautical miles out to sea.
“We need to support jobs in our commercial and recreational fishing sectors and to do that we have to make sure the fishery is sustainable.
“That means making sure that people are following the rules to so we do not end up with too much pressure on fish stocks for now and for the future.”