Illegal crab fisher faces crushing penalties

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities The Honourable Mark Furner

An illegally-modified fishing boat has been crushed and the owner fined $6,000 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court as a warning to anybody considering breaching the state’s fishing regulations.

Speaking at Action Metal Recyclers, Oxley, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the boat’s seizure and destruction followed a 2019 operation by the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) targeting an illegal crabber in the Brisbane river area.

“The fisher had modified the seats of the vessel to create concealed compartments where our officers found regulated mud crabs,” Mr Furner said.

“In handing down the penalty, the Court noted the impact the vessel modifications had on the safety of the vessel and its occupants.

“This person had received previous infringement notices and knew very well that taking female and under-sized crabs was against the law.

“Today we’ve reduced the 3.7 metre boat to recycling material. A motor and trailer will be sold.

“We have done this as a deterrent aimed at protecting jobs in both the commercial and recreational fishing sectors, and building a sustainable fishery for future generations.

“QBFP uses a range of techniques and technology to uncover illegal activities, as well as information from the public through Fishwatch.

“Our state’s fisheries resources belong to all Queenslanders, and it is our job to protect fish for the future.”

If you suspect illegal fishing activities, call the 24 hour toll-free Fishwatch hotline 1800 017 116.

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