Company fined $40,000 for damaging marine plants at Toogoom

A COMPANY was fined $40,000 in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court for causing damage to marine plants.

Speaking after the court proceedings, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district manager Greg Bowness said Fisheries Queensland takes the destruction of marine plants seriously.

Mr Bowness said the company had excavated soil from a nearby dam and placed it on marine plants at Toogoom.

"The marine plants were destroyed and the company was subsequently charged under the Fisheries Act 1994," Mr Bowness said.

Aside from the $40,000 fine, the company was ordered to pay $7594.33 in professional costs.

Mr Bowness said all marine plants which includes mangroves, saltmarsh and seagrass, were protected under Queensland law.

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"This protection applies all land tenures, including private, leasehold or public lands and whether the marine plants are alive or dead," he said.

"Check with Fisheries Queensland prior to undertaking any activities around marine plants as heavy penalties apply to any unauthorised disturbances."

Fisheries Queensland also successfully prosecuted two unlicensed fishers last month.

A fisher was fined $2000 in the Yeppoon Magistrates Court for unlawfully attempting to sell fisheries resources.

Another fisher, who was charged with five counts of unlawful possession of commercial fishing apparatus, was fined $2800 and ordered to pay $1000 in professional costs in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court.



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