A BUNDABERG fisher has been fined $13,300 for a number of crabbing offences including too many pots.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) district manager Greg Bowness said the fine handed down by the Bundaberg Magistrates Court last week was for possessing female and undersized mud crabs and using excess crab pots.
"QBFP approached the crabber at a boat ramp in the Gregory River near Woodgate after seeing a quantity of crab pots stacked near his vessel," said Mr Bowness.
"The crabber had a total of nine pots in his possession and on closer inspection, they were found to contain 40 female mud crabs and seven undersized mud crabs.
"Officers seized the excess crab pots and the returned the crabs to the water alive."
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Mr Bowness said regulated product must be immediately sorted and released at the point of capture and should not be moved or taken back to the ramp for sorting.
"In determining the fine, the Magistrate issued a penalty of $150 per undersize crab, $250 per female crab and $250 for each excess pot," he said.
"The fine demonstrates the seriousness of the offences, which pose a threat to the local mud crab breeding population."
Mr Bowness said fishing rules for gear and possession limits were in place for both commercial and recreational fishers to protect our fisheries resources.
"It's important that everyone abides by the rules to assist long-term sustainability and resource sharing."
Anyone who suspects illegal fishing is urged to report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116 so it can be investigated.
For more information on Queensland fishing rules, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free Qld Fishing app from Apple and Google app stores.