Heavy fine for illegal crab haul

Two people have been fined a total of $53,000 in the Southport Magistrates Court after being found in possession of a large number of female and undersized crabs and undersized fish taken from Paradise Point.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said while the vast majority of fishers did the right thing, but there were still too many cases such as this before the courts.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers conducted surveillance on their fishing activities and went to the fishers’ home under a search warrant in February last year, where they found:

  • 26 blue swimmer crab claws
  • 43 female blue swimmer crabs
  • 64 undersized blue swimmer crabs
  • 9 female mud crabs
  • 4 undersized mud crabs
  • 3 undersized bream
  • 1 undersized sand whiting
  • 4 commercial fishing nets.

The defendants were also found guilty of obstructing an inspector after trying to hide the illegal haul from QBFP officers.

Mr Furner said this sort of blatant disregard for our rules had a serious impact on an important community resource, especially as one of the defendants had previously been issued nine infringement notices on three separate occasions.

“All fishers need to understand the regulations and requirements around crabbing and size limits,” he said.

“Otherwise, you will be caught and you will be prosecuted.

“QBFP uses a range of techniques and technology to uncover illegal activities, including surveillance cameras. We also recently deployed drones as part of our compliance enforcement effort, making it even harder for people to hide illegal activities.”

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