Recreational fisher convicted and ordered to do community service

A recreational fisher who committed six fisheries offences on the Gold Coast has been convicted and ordered to do 160 hours of community service.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the man was fishing with his grandson when Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol inspected his boat.

“Fisheries officers say the fisher clearly had no qualms about teaching the younger generation to exploit Queensland’s valuable fisheries resources,” Mr Furner said.

“He also went to great lengths to avoid fishing offences being detected by fisheries officers, did not cooperate when they inspected his boat, and wasn’t honest when asked what fish he had on board.

“We make no apologies for being tough on illegal fishing. This is what it takes to build a legacy of a sustainable fishery for our children and grandchildren.”

Mr Furner said Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers inspected the man’s boat at the Santa Barbara boat ramp at 1.15 am on 11 April 2019.

“On board they found eight female mud crabs which are protected in Queensland, nine undersized mud crabs, four yellowfin bream and two moses snapper which were all under the size limit,” Mr Furner said.

“Eight crab pots were not marked with the owner’s name and address and the owner’s name wasn’t displayed on four floats.”

The fisher pleaded guilty in Southport Magistrates Court to six charges under the Fisheries Act 1994, including possessing female mud crabs, undersized male mud crabs and fish, and failing to mark crabbing equipment correctly.

The court was told the man had one previous fisheries infringement notice for not marking crab apparatus in the way required.

The magistrate convicted the fisher, suspended a $4,000 fine and imposed a 160-hour community service order, ruling the fisher could not leave Queensland without written consent.

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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