Follow rules to make crabbing fair for all
CRABBER Paul Olsen has been fishing from the Toolooa Bends boat ramp since he was six years of age.
So he's "stoked" to see it has re-opened after months of renovation work to fix damage from a mudslide earlier in the year.
"I just started two months of annual leave so I'm hoping to get out there every day," he said.
The new concrete dock and ramp is already being put to good use by fishermen and crabbers.
Mr Olsen said he was getting started with four new crab pots.
The first thing he did was make sure he labelled and tagged them correctly.
"The fines are huge if you don't crab right and it's not worth the risk," he said.
"Years ago I was sinking my pots to stop people from stealing the crabs. But I stopped that pretty quick.
"It's bad practice and not only do you lose your pots, but it's illegal and disrespectful to the industry."
Mr Olsen said crabbers should know they are required by law to mark their pots with an identifying tag that states the surname and address of the owner.
The Department of Fisheries regulations also require a pot to be attached to either a float or a fixed object above water that identifies the pot is there.
"I've lived in Gladstone for 32 years and in general the crabbing culture is pretty good," he said.
"But there is a bit of stealing going on, which is an incentive for people to hide their pots, but that's gotta stop just as much as the stealing does.
"We have to give each other the respect we want and if we respect the rules, crabbing is just going to get even better in Gladstone."