Caught on camera: Authorities sting greedy crabber
A STAGGERING image of an Ingham commercial angler removing a crab pot from the water cost him $7298.
The person (pictured), stung by Department of Agriculture and Fisheries surveillance cameras, faced four charges of interfering with fishing apparatus.
He pleaded guilty in the Tully Magistrates Court and was given a $5000 fine and had to pay legal costs of $2,298, with no conviction recorded.
But he wasn't the only fisherman the department investigators caught behaving badly.
A Gladstone angler (not pictured) was intercepted in Gladstone Marina with 19 crab pots which belonged to other commercial fishermen, along with 14 live crabs.
The Gladstone person was found guilty and fined $7000 in the Gladstone Magistrates Court on five charges of unlawful interference with fishing apparatus.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district manager Greg Bowness said it had a financial impact on the victims.
CRABBERS BEHAVING BADLY |
"In this case, the offending caused the commercial fishers who lawfully owned the crab pots some financial loss when they were deprived of the use of their fishing apparatus," Mr Bowness said.
"The intervention of QBFP officers means all their fishing apparatus was recovered and will be returned to its rightful owners."
Mr Bowness said crab pot interference was prevalent, and authorities relied on the community reporting information about suspected illegal fishing activity to catch out offenders.
If people suspect illegal crabbing, they should report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116 so that it can be investigated.