‘JUST FISHING’: Pacer Schefe and partner Nina McArdle.
‘JUST FISHING’: Pacer Schefe and partner Nina McArdle. ROSS IRBY

Fisherman fined for trespassing at ports corporation spot

A GLADSTONE fisherman claims many of the best fishing spots are being lost to industry and port encroachment.

But, still determined to fish, some are now being fined for trespass.

The lament of the loss was clear in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday when Pacer Schefe, a keen fisherman, was fined $250 after Gladstone Ports Corporation had police charge him.

Schefe, 36, has fished around Gladstone since he was a boy and said it was "just wrong" that good fishing spots were being taken away.

Prosecutor Sgt Merrilyn Hoskins said Schefe had walked through a gate into a restricted area at Fisherman's Landing at Yarwun earlier this year and started fishing.

Sgt Hoskins said photos were taken of him fishing and of his car parked outside.

He was charged after being told by a ports corporation officer to stop fishing and leave.

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Police were told that he had fished and been spoken to at this location numerous times before - a fact Schefe later denied outside court.

"He said that he was only fishing there because all the good fishing spots were being taken away," she said.

Magistrate Penelope Hay raised the spectre of potentially evil or wicked acts being done at such strategic facilities by saying security now must be aware of any "nefarious activities".

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Ms Hay showed some empathy to the fisherman, saying she could understand his frustration at not being able to access a good fishing spot because, since working here, she had learned how important recreational fishing was.

However, Gladstone ports had a job to do to ensure the port was kept secure and safe, and must enforce such exclusion zones, she said.

"You will have to find another good spot to go fishing," she said.

Schefe was fined but the conviction not recorded.

Outside the court Schefe said he had fished at Yarwun for many years - "one of my favourite spots".

"They have only put the fence and signs up saying you can't go in there," he said.

"I'm not the only one who goes there. It's good fishing - barra, mangrove jack and salmon.

"All I'm doing is fishing. It is just wrong. All of a sudden LNG turns up and you are not allowed to go there."



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