Commercial fishers fined for fishing in no-go zone
TWO commercial fishers were convicted and fined $9000 last week for illegal fishing offences in a no-take green zone in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Aerial surveillance patrols detected the anglers illegally fishing from a commercial fishing dory anchored in a Marine National Park (no-take green) Zone in the Swain Reefs on January 5 last year - the commercial fishing dory operator didn't have a GPS plotter on board.
The dory operator was fined $5000 for fishing in no-take areas around the Swain Reefs, and the master of the commercial fishing vessel was fined $4000.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's Ben Kettle said anglers who ignored Marine Park zoning rules could expect to get caught and face hefty fines.
"We have patrols day and night to detect illegal fishing," he said.
Mr Kettle said the zoning was important so commercial and recreational fishermen knew where they were allowed to fish within the Barrier Reef Marine Park.
"Zoning information is readily available and having a GPS and knowing how to use it is important to ensure the rules are followed," he said.
If anyone suspects illegal fishing phone the 24-hour hotline 1800 380 048 or visit gbrmpa.gov.au.