Sport

Angler’s not fine with groper catch penalty

NOT FINE: Bundaberg fisherman Dwane Austerberry was recently fined for catching a groper and is not impressed by the way he has been treated by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
NOT FINE: Bundaberg fisherman Dwane Austerberry was recently fined for catching a groper and is not impressed by the way he has been treated by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

DWANE Austerberry has complained about the fine he was given by the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) after posting a video and photo of a Queensland groper catch and release to Facebook.

On Thursday, the NewsMail reported two Bundaberg anglers had been fined for possessing the protected species, with the QBFP stating the groper was fought to the point of exhaustion.

Mr Austerberry said the claims were incorrect and believed he was not given the chance to tell his side of the story to QBFP.

"My brother and I have been fishing at a particular spot along the river in East Bundaberg for a while now and we kept getting snapped off by something," he said.

"We thought it must have been a shark so the next time we went down we decided to try and catch it."

The pair used a rope and homemade hook to bring in the beast, only to realise the fish was actually a massive groper.

"We were excited. It is a once in a lifetime experience to see a groper up close which is why we took a quick photo and video," he said.

"We both know that gropers are protected so we grabbed the hook out of its mouth and away it went," he said.

"We did not intentionally try to target this particular fish and we were very quick to release it back into the water."

Mr Austerberry and his brother were under investigation by the QBFP before being fined $455 each.

"We had no idea the photo and video were being investigated until we received the fine," he said.

"I think we should have been warned and given a bit of a slap on the wrist but to get fined is definitely a bit rich."

Mr Austerberry spoke to the QBFP yesterday afternoon to find out more information about the fine but was told the matter could not be discussed.

"They told me that I would have to direct any complaints in writing to the Brisbane office, which is exactly what I plan to do," he said.

The QBFP stated on its Facebook page that Queensland groper are a "no take" species and must be released immediately to the water to protect their health.

"By removing large fish from the water onto the bank injury can occur to internal organs, gills, eyes etc, so even though they are subsequently released and are then seen to swim away, they may still die from internal injuries sustained," the post said.

"Before fishers take a photo of a regulated fish, they need to consider the safest way they are going to handle the fish to ensure its survival."

Topics:  editors picks fishing outdoor-living queensland boating and fisheries patrol



Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

THE last season of GoT finally uttered the words we’ve been waiting six seasons to hear and now that the weather has cooled down in Brisbane, “winter is here.”

Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art always has a fun, exciting and interesting exhibition on show for the whole family to enjoy.

YOU'D be mistaken in thinking Brisbane wasn't an arty city.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Balaclava-clad home invasion haunts mother

TERRIFIED: A mum has been left traumatised after nine intruders entered her home wielding weapons.

18-year-old last week pleaded guilty before a judge in Court

Community support the building block for business winners

AMAZING: Kleidon Masterbuilt Homes' Melissa Steele accepts the Trades Business of the Year gong.

"When we got the People's Choice, my legs were like jelly”

Youth jobs crisis gets worse in Bundaberg

TOUGH TIMES: Labor's Leanne Donaldson says youth unemployment is a major issue.

The opposition claims 700 youth jobs were lost in Wide Bay last year

Local Partners

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

SUNSHINE Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice nearly saw her form a duo with her battle round opponent.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!