Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers have hauled a raft of illegal crab pots from Far North Queensland waterways in their latest clean-up operation.
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said 70 unmarked pots were pulled from Dickson Inlet, Mowbray River and Mossman River over two days.
“Crabbing is one of Queensland’s most popular forms of fishing and the problem of unmarked, abandoned and lost crab pots occurs across the State,” Ms Lui said.
“With any type of fishing, the impact on the environment must be considered”I encourage fishers to make sure their crab pots are clearly marked with the user’s surname and address and to remove their gear from the water when they cease fishing.
“Crab pots that are left in the water when they’re not being used can become lost and may continue to ‘ghost fish’, catching crabs, fish and other non-target marine animals including turtles which become trapped and die.”
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said fisheries officers retrieved 44 unmarked and abandoned crab pots in their previous clean-up of the Port Douglas foreshore in October last year.
“When fish and crab stocks are depleted by illegal fishing equipment, that’s bad for local fishing jobs,” Mr Furner said.
“We are continuing to manage the COVID-19 health response well and that means we can start to deliver Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“We need to protect Queensland jobs as we begin to deliver our plan for economic recovery and processes like crab pot clean-ups help us to do that.
“Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol conducts crab pot clean ups across the state regularly, in conjunction with other compliance agencies and marine conservation groups where possible.”
People who see suspected unmarked, lost or abandoned crabbing apparatus, should record an accurate location (GPS coordinates) of the apparatus and report it to their closest Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol office.