Commercial fisher fined
Issued: 14 Sep 2022
A commercial fisher has been fined $12,500 after being found guilty of wilfully entering or using a marine park for a prohibited purpose.
The fisher was sentenced in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 9 September 2022, after being found guilty of one offence of taking a natural resource (crabs) contrary to section 43(1)(a) of the Marine Parks Act 2004.
During the trial, the Court heard that rangers from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service located a crab pot in the St Helena Island Marine National Park Zone of Moreton Bay Marine Park on 22 December 2020.
The Marine National Park Zone (also known by fishers as the ‘green zone’) is a ‘no take’ area, where fishing and crabbing is prohibited.
Rangers inspected the pot and noted that it contained three crabs. Rangers returned the next day, located the same crab pot, and commenced a covert operation to determine who had placed it.
Later that day, rangers witnessed the fisher operate a vessel that removed the pot from the ocean, without returning the crabs to water.
The Court found that the fisher had intended to take the crabs.
The fisher was also ordered to pay $2,625 in legal costs and $746.50 in investigation costs. No conviction was recorded.
As the environmental regulator, the Department of Environment and Science takes compliance issues seriously. That’s why our departmental officers respond swiftly to monitor and investigate any breaches of the Marine Parks Act 2004.
Our compliance patrols run day and night, on-water and from the air. DES will take strong action, including court prosecutions, where people ignore the rules.
Marine park visitors are encouraged to report illegal fishing activity to Fishwatch on 1800 017 116. Other illegal activity in a marine park can be reported to 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
Photos and videos are available from the media centre.