Fisherman Phil Ward repairing fishing nets at Coffs harbour Interntional Marina. Photo: Rob Wright / The Coffs Coast Advocate
Fisherman Phil Ward repairing fishing nets at Coffs harbour Interntional Marina. Photo: Rob Wright / The Coffs Coast Advocate Rob Wright

Stay away from commericial fishing gear

RECREATIONAL fishers are being warned to stay away from commercial fishing equipment following an increase in reports of equipment being interfered with.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district officer Graeme Broughall said it was illegal to interfere with fishing equipment.

"Recreational fishers caught unlawfully interfering or using commercial fishing equipment risk an $1100 on-the-spot fine," he said.

"It is illegal to move, take or damage fishing equipment that isn't yours.

"You also shouldn't take home a net you have found washed up on shore to keep or use.

"Any equipment found should be reported to the local QBFP office or the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116 so that it can be returned to its rightful owner."

Mr Broughall said there were a number of nets that can be used recreationally.

"In Queensland tidal waters, recreational fishers can use seine or cast nets," he said.

"A seine net must not exceed 16m in length, 3m in drop and must have a mesh size no greater than 28mm. The net must not contain a bag, pocket or similar device.

"Cast nets must be no more than 3.7 m in length and have a maximum mesh size of 28 mm.

"For freshwater fishing, scoop or dip nets and dilly nets are permitted for use."

Mr Broughall said a recreational scoop or dip net must not exceed 1m in any dimension and a maximum mesh size of 25mm.

"A recreational dilly net must have a diameter of no more than 125 cm and a maximum mesh size of 25 mm," he said.

"Breaching these laws is a serious offence and can attract an on-the-spot fine of $1100 and a maximum penalty of $33,000."

Mr Broughall said the public are encouraged to report suspected illegal fishing activities.

"Anyone who suspects or witnesses illegal fishing activities should immediately report it to the 24-hour Fishwatch Hotline on 1800 017 116 or via the Facebook online form.

"It's important not to engage the person, as this can compromise an investigation."

 

For more information visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.



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