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Author Topic: More than $20,000 in fines dealt to fishers in south west  (Read 1729 times)

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More than $20,000 in fines dealt to fishers in south west
« on: July 13, 2012, 06:24:46 PM »
More than $20,000 in fines dealt to fishers in south west

News release | 05 July, 2012


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Fines totaling more than $20,000 were handed down in Cunnamulla Magistrates Court this week after three people were found guilty of disregarding fishing rules in remote south-west Queensland.

The fines issued on Tuesday in two separate cases were some of the biggest ever issued in Queensland for recreational freshwater fishing offences.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) district officer Coby Walker said in his 22 years with the Patrol, he could not recall a day where larger fines were given for recreational freshwater fishing offences.

"All offences were discovered after complaints from the public were received," Mr Walker said.

"We received information about individuals on Cooper Creek - between Thargomindah and the South Australian border - netting and taking large amounts of golden perch (yellowbelly).

"We launched a joint operation with the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and discovered several unlawful nets and a freezer with 79 golden perch in whole and fillet form.

"To help protect this native species for future generations, the bag limit for golden perch is 10 and the possession of fishing nets for freshwater use is prohibited.

"The two individuals in this case were fined a total of $12,500 and the fish and nets were seized by QBFP officers."

Mr Walker said shortly after this, another individual in the same area was caught with 1,213 yabbies (blueclaw crayfish) and 19 traps without rings.

"The bag limit for yabbies is 100, with only four traps allowed to be used by an individual at any one time," he said.

"This person was fined $8000 and the yabbies and traps were seized."

Mr Walker said in both of these operations, community assistance had prevented the ongoing exploitation of a public resource that was there for all to enjoy.

"People have become more aware of the need to protect our dwindling fisheries resources.

"While the QBFP have a massive area to patrol in the west, we have the support of the QPS and community, and this prosecution is an example of what can be achieved with such support.

"Those who consider breaking the law should realise that even in remote areas, someone is always watching and they will be caught.

"We encourage people to report unlawful or suspicious fishing activities by calling the Fishwatch Hotline on 1800 017 116."

For Queensland freshwater fishing rules, including bag and size limits, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au



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