Two men have received fines totalling $20,000 after being caught with female and undersize crabs at night on the northern end of the Gold Coast.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers conducted surveillance at Shipper Drive on the Gold Coast after receiving complaints from recreational fishers.
QBFP Officer Ryan Stove said that officers’ intercepted two men as they were leaving the area after observing them place crab pots, a large white sack, bucket, and shopping bags into their vehicle.
“We intercepted their vehicle and found 18 female mud crabs, 18 undersize male mud crabs, two undersize yellowfin bream, three undersize summer whiting, and one undersize dusky flathead,” he said.
“Officers also found ten unmarked crab pots. Upon completion of the inspection all mud crabs were released back into the water alive.”
Mr Stove said both men claimed that they had no knowledge of crabbing or fishing regulations in Queensland and were charged with five counts of possessing regulated fish as well as two counts regarding use of regulated fishing apparatus.
Mr Stove said both men pleaded guilty and were fined $10,000 each in the Southport Magistrates Court in March 2017.
“Fishers are reminded that ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse when caught with regulated product because the onus is on fishers to know the rules when fishing in Queensland waters,” he said.
“This is a great example of the benefits of the community providing information through our Fishwatch hotline that we can act upon.”
For more information on Queensland fishing rules, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23, or download the free ‘Qld Fishing’ app.
If you suspect illegal fishing, whether seen in person or online, report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116. Don’t engage the person, as this can compromise an investigation. All information provided to the hotline will be prioritised based on potential fishery risks, accuracy, and reliability with an appropriate response formulated.