Queensland Government
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

27 June 2013
Don’t be shellfish, stick to the limits

Fishers are being reminded to stick to the rules when collecting and consuming shellfish these school holidays.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) District Manager Brett Depper said school holidays usually saw more shellfish being taken along Brisbane coastal areas.

“In Queensland, you can only legally take and keep 50 shellfish at one time. This limit includes any shellfish you may already have at home,” Mr Depper said.

“For example, if you already have 25 shellfish at home, you can only take and keep another 25. This includes pipis, mud whelks and cockles.

“Exceeding this limit carries a maximum penalty of $110,000 and you can also be fined $440 on the spot,” he said.

Mr Depper said recreational fishers should be aware that it’s also an offence for recreational fishers to sell shellfish without authorisation, and they need to be aware of closed areas.

“It’s illegal to take shellfish from any of the local closed areas including parts of the foreshores at Deception Bay, Nudgee Beach, Wynnum and Bramble Bay, which are closed areas to taking gastropods or bivalve molluscs such as pipis and cockles.

“Recreational fishers should refer to www.fisheries.qld.gov.au for specific area details,” he said.

Mr Depper said commercial oyster farms were also targeted during school holidays.

“It’s important to remember that taking oysters from or interfering with aquaculture infrastructure and licensed oyster grounds is illegal,” he said.

“A person may only consume oysters on the spot where taken in a public oyster reserve or on unlicensed oyster grounds.

“Stealing oysters from licensed areas or interfering with aquaculture infrastructure is a serious offence and fines of up to $55,000 or $1100 on-the-spot apply.

Mr Depper said increased reports of suspected unlawful fishing practices from local residents have assisted QBFP to enforce compliance in the area.

“We’re asking holidaymakers and residents to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity and to let us know if they spot someone doing the wrong thing.

“Contact the 24-hour Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116 to report any illegal fishing activities.”

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Media: Jo Anglesey, 3087 8601