Crabber fined $35,000 for pot interference
A RECREATIONAL crabber has been fined $35,380 and had his boat forfeited after interfering with other people's crab pots.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol ran a month long surveillance operation on the man.
Gold Coast QBFP Field Officer David Kahler said he was found to have a large number of crabs and no crab pots.
"A search warrant of his residence was executed and the crabber was found in possession of 111 regulated crabs - 64 of these female," Mr Kahler said.
"The defendant was fined $25,000 for possessing regulated crabs and interfering with commercial crabbing apparatus at the Gold Coast.
"The commercial crabber whose pots had been interfered with over the period had suffered a substantial loss of income and therefore the court ordered restitution of $10,300.
"Interference with commercial crab pots is a significant problem statewide and the heavy penalties handed down by the Southport Magistrates Court on Friday reflect this.
QBFP will continue to monitor the waters during the Christmas and holiday period.
If you see any suspected illegal fishing activities, you can report them to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.
In Queensland, female mud crabs are no take species while male mud crabs have a size limit of 15 cm across the carapace, with a possession limit of 10 and a maximum of 4 crab pots per person for recreational fishers. It is also illegal to interfere with another persons' crab apparatus.
For more information on Queensland crabbing rules, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au , call 13 25 23 or download the free 'Qld Fishing' app from Apple and Google app stores.