Crabbers hit with eye-watering fines
CRABBERS flouting fisheries laws on the Gold Coast are copping massive fines stretching into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Fisheries Queensland has revealed two men have been fined $53,000 after they were found with undersized crabs and fish and more than 100 illegal female crabs taken from Paradise Point, seemingly a hotspot for illegal crabbing.
The crabbers, one who has a history of illegal fishing, were also found guilty of obstructing a Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officer after trying and failing to hide their haul.
"The property owner has a significant history of illegal fishing activity in relation to taking undersized crabs and fish, using excess crab pots and failing to correctly mark crabbing apparatus," a Fisheries spokesperson said.
Officers detected the offences on February 15 and later caught up with the pair at a Sovereign Islands home.
It came after Fisheries conducted surveillance of their fishing and raided the property.
Fisheries is known to use specialised surveillance cameras to nab unsuspecting anglers breaking the law across Queensland.
Earlier this month, Fisheries said another man had been slugged with a $13,000 fine after officers intercepted him at a Paradise Point boat ramp.
Officers uncovered 11 female mud crabs and one undersized crab, and two pots marked with another fisher's name
Fisheries issued 124 infringement notices on the Gold Coast last year and 55 charges were laid against anglers for prosecution in court.
Earlier this month, Fisheries said about 30 infringement notices had been issued so far this year by the nine officers based on the Coast.
Still, the Fisheries spokesperson said: "The level of compliance with fisheries regulations remains consistently high on the Gold Coast, with the majority of recreational and commercial fishers doing the right thing and fishing by the rules."
Fishers have been warned to double check size and possession laws, among other crabbing regulations.
Fisheries urged anyone who suspects illegal fishing to phone Fishwatch on 1800 017 116.