3200 shark fins seized in fisheries raid
A MAN who was caught with more than 3000 shark fins, believed to have been taken from more than 600 sharks, has been fined $7750 in Maryborough Magistrates Court.
Gympie's Thomas Arthur Grady, 45, was fishing with two mates, Warren William NcNee, 58, and George Joseph Johnson, 60, near Boonooroo when the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries raided Grady's fishing shack.
The men were found to be in excess of the bag limit for crabs. Entitled to 10 crabs each, the men were found with 37 crabs, four of which were undersized.
In addition to that, crabs with their carapace, or shell, removed were found at Grady's property. It is illegal to possess crab meat or crabs with the carapace missing unless it is for immediate consumption.
Grady's equipment was also called into question, with three illegal, oversize nets found. He was issued an on-the-spot fine of $1100.
Grady was also found with several bags of shark fins.
Recreational fishermen are entitled to take one shark per person, but the court heard more than 3200 fins were found in the bags - the equivalent of about 641 sharks.
The court heard there was no evidence Grady had taken the shark fins himself.
Grady told Fisheries officers a man had given him the bags of shark fins, which he was using as crab pot bait.
In addition to the $1100 on-the-spot fine, Grady was fined $7750 after he pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to comply with regulated fishing apparatus or regulated fishing method declaration and four charges of unlawful possession of regulated fish.
Johnson and NcNee were fined $3750 for the excessive possession of crabs, undersized crabs and for crab pots that were not clearly marked with their identifying particulars.