Hiding illegal mud crabs in ‘wheelie’ bin leads to $15,000 in fines

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries The Honourable Mark Furner

A fisher who concealed illegal mud crabs in a wheelie bin at a Hope Island house to avoid inspection by fisheries officers has been fined $9,000 in the Southport Magistrates Court.

The man’s nephew also faced charges under the Fisheries Act and was fined $6,000.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said fishers who do the wrong thing will be caught and face severe penalties.

“In this case, a recreational crabber showed complete disregard for Queensland’s fisheries laws by obstructing fisheries officers, failing to sort or measure his catch and using excess and unmarked apparatus,” he said.

“The rules and regulations for recreational fishing in Queensland, including crabbing, are in place to protect and conserve fish stocks.

“All fishers need to know the rules and follow them to ensure our valuable fisheries resources are sustainable for current and future generations to enjoy.”

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol searched a Hope Island property after observing a hire boat with two fishers on board checking crab pots in the Coomera River on Easter Sunday 2019.

Fisheries officers found a bag of 21 live mud crabs including 13 undersize males and 8 females hidden under rubbish in a wheelie bin, despite one of the fishers telling them several times there were no mud crabs at the house.

One undersized Moses perch and excess and incorrectly marked crab pots were also detected.

Two fishers from Brisbane were charged with a total of ten offences under the Fisheries Act and both pleaded guilty to the charges in court.

Fisheries officers released all mud crabs alive into the Coomera River on the day the offences were detected.

Queensland’s recreational fishing rules are available to download on the free ‘Qld’ Fishing’ smartphone app, online at www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or by phoning 13 25 23.

People who suspect illegal fishing activity should report it to the 24-hour toll free Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.

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