Fisher fined for $1500 for protected waters catch

Taking 106 sea cucumber from protected waters has seen a recreational fisher fined $1500 in the Caboolture Magistrates Court.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) Acting District Manager Russell Overton said that, under the Fisheries Act 1994, the taking of sea cucumber was prohibited in waters south of an area near Bowen.

“QBFP officers found the fisher in possession of the sea cucumber during an inspection in July 2017 of a vehicle near Sandstone Point,” Mr Overton said.

“An occupant of the vehicle was an employee of a Sunnybank restaurant that had sea cucumber on its menu.

“Officers released alive all the sea cucumber which weighed 25.5 kilograms and had an estimated value of $7650.

“The maximum penalty for taking fisheries resources from protected waters is $126,150.

“Regulated waters serve an important role in the protection of our valuable fisheries resources and the removal of such a large quantity of protected resources is of great concern.”

Mr Overton said QBFP officers had been targeting the Sandstone Point area following reports of large volumes of fisheries resources being removed illegally from the area.

“QBFP conduct regular patrols in Moreton Bay and officers recently seized 3,380 molluscs, 35 sea cucumbers and 160 oysters from collectors operating at Sandstone Point,” Mr Overton said.

“Fisheries officers will continue to target the Sandstone Point area to address non-compliance with Queensland’s fishing rules and regulations which are in place to protect and conserve fish stocks.

“Additionally, the new Moreton Bay Fishery Working Group will consider such issues as part of the trial to develop regionally-specific fishing rules under the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027.”

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol relies on the ongoing support of the community to help protect Queensland’s valuable fisheries resources.

If people suspect illegal fishing activity, including the unlawful sale of fisheries resources, they should report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.

Source: QLD Government