FLYING HIGH: QLD Boating and Fisheries district manager Central Queensland Greg Bowness, field officer Hayden Coburn and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner.
FLYING HIGH: QLD Boating and Fisheries district manager Central Queensland Greg Bowness, field officer Hayden Coburn and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner. Rhylea Millar

The eyes in the sky over Bundy's waterways

EYES are in the Bundy skies as security measures are tightened across the region's waterways.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner visited Bundaberg yesterday to discuss strategies that have been devised to protect marine life.

Mr Furner believes that implementing 10 drones across Queensland, is the best way to monitor unlawful behaviour on the water.

"It's a huge task and we're always looking at more efficient, safe ways for our officers to go about their business,” he said. "The new drones will allow Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers to monitor marine habitats and fishing operations from a distance.

"Footage from these drones could be used to gather intelligence, prosecute people who break the rules and support training of the Marine Animal Rescue team.”

The Queensland government has allocated $80,000 funding for drones and associated equipment, excluding the training and accreditation costs for these devices.

In addition to this technical advancement, the government is offering $100,000 grants for recreational fishing.

"Fishing is also very important for tourism and jobs, attracting fishers from around Australia and the world,” Mr Furner said.

"The grants program aims to support activities and projects which enhance recreational fishing across the state.”

Mr Furner has also proposed amendments to the fisheries regulation, including catchment limitations, as a way to reduce the growing threat of black market trading.

He encouraged both commercial and recreational fishers to review the propsed changes and provide feedback by the deadline July 8, before the changes come into effect in September.

"We're really looking for that feedback and we'll examine that feedback,” Mr Furner said.

Stakeholders can access the proposed changes at fisheries.qld.gov.au



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