Business

Crabbers feel the pinch as poachers hit harder

ANGRY ANGLERS: Johnny Mitchell and Lindsay Wassell have had their crab pots raided.
ANGRY ANGLERS: Johnny Mitchell and Lindsay Wassell have had their crab pots raided. Mike Richards

EXPERIENCED anglers are adopting alternative ways to catch mud crabs in a bid to prevent their crabs and crab pots from being pilfered.

Johnny Mitchell, a professional fishing guide for 35 years, said that the battle against crab-pot poachers was an "ongoing war".

Mr Mitchell refuses to leave his crab pots unattended, opting instead to remove them from the water when he leaves an area.

"Some of the worst cases are when you lose the whole crab pot," he said.

"You might put four in and then the whole four are gone when you pick them up.

"It's about respecting other water users and human beings in general.

"The fact is that plenty of other people know it's going on and know who is doing it but they are reluctant to pull up their friend and say that's not right."

Lindsay Wassell is another who has fallen foul of the thieves.

"I left them in overnight about 18 months ago and the next day two were gone and the other two were thrown in mangroves," he said.

"That was the first time I'd done that (left them unattended) in a long time and I won't be doing it again."

Mr Wassell, who has fished recreationally in the region for 30 years, said it was frustrating that other crabbers would steal from another angler's crab pots.

"It's just the fact that you pay the registration for the boat, you go to the trouble of putting it in and someone else is getting those crabs for nothing," he said.

"They probably have their own crab pots, they're being thoughtless and greedy."

Feeling crabby

Signs your crabs have been stolen:

  • The door of the pot is open.
  • No bait left, or the bait has been destroyed, and no crabs
  • If the crab pot is not in the same spot as where it was set

The rules:

  • Four crab pots per person
  • People can only take male crabs over 15cm across the shell and can only take four crabs
  • Crab pots must be marked by an identifying tag with surname and address of the owner
  • If the crab pot is not attached to a tree or high water mark, it must have a surface float with the owner's name clearly marked

The fines:

  • Interfering with crabbing apparatus: $1138-$56,925
  • Unmarked and sunken pots: $227-$34,155
  • Possession of an undersized crab: $227
  • Possession of a female crab: $455

(Offenders will be referred to police for prosecution)

Topics:  anglers fishing mud crabs poaching



10 best street art spots to take an Insta selfie

IF YOU are in need of a few trendy new Instagram snaps, then get your phone and selfie-stick ready and head to Brisbane.

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

Don't miss Charles Edwards in this incredible theatre performance.

WHEN acting royalty comes to town, you sit up and take notice.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Gladstone man attacks police and hospital staff

NO HELP: Gladstone man Reuben Drosdeck, 23, tried everything to get out of a hospital visit, including assault police officers.

He screamed at officers "I don't want to f***ing be here”.

Major food franchise plans new store for Gladstone region

GET READY: Options for pizza lovers could expand if the council give Dominos the nod.

Tastebuds should be tingling after mega chain takes the next step

Gladstone's best and worst suburbs to buy a house revealed

I Love Tannum Feature. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer

Looking to buy a house in the Gladstone region? Read this first.

Local Partners

HUGE OSCARS FAIL: Wrong film handed Best Picture award

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land was incorrectly named Best Picture. During the acceptance speech, the real winner was revealed.

Blue Heelers' Ditch Davey joins 800 Words cast

Ditch Davey joins the cast of 800 Words as Terry, the younger brother of George, played by Erik Thomson.

George Turner's brother, Terry, arrives to Weld with a 'few demons'

Oscars winners 2017: Full list of Academy Award winners

Viola Davis accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for Fences at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

WHO won Oscars this year? Here’s a full list of every winner.

Why can’t Nicole Kidman clap properly?

Nicole Kidman's style of clapping has puzzled Oscars viewers.

FOR some reason, it seems Nicole doesn’t really know how to clap.

Muslim actor makes Oscars history

Mahershala Ali accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for Moonlight at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

MOONLIGHT star Mahershala Ali makes Academy Award history.

NO ONE OFF LIMITS: Kimmel burns down the house at Oscars

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

HOST delivers a torrent of abuse on Hollywood’s night of nights.

Oscars guest’s shocking wardrobe malfunction

Blanca Blanco arrives for the 89th annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 26 February 2017.

ACTRESS suffers X-rated wardrobe malfunction.

Gladstone's best and worst suburbs to buy a house revealed

I Love Tannum Feature. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer

Looking to buy a house in the Gladstone region? Read this first.

Loaded Chinese investors excited over Heron Island deal

The Heron Island Wedding Expo is set to offer people a great chance to get all the information they need on having a luxurious Heron Island Wedding. Photo Contributed

The long-term future of the resort and improvements were discussed.

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!