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  1. #1

    Exclamation Is this fine sufficient ?

    Successful Hervey Bay scallop bust


    Fisheries Queensland·Tuesday, October 11, 2016






    A Urangan commercial fisher has been fined $12,000 plus court costs for possessing undersize scallops, with $38,480 forfeited from the proceeds of the sale of the seized catch.


    Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) district manager Greg Bowness said an inspection of the trawler in January found more than 20% of the fisher’s catch was undersized. “The entire load of scallop caught off Yeppoon was seized, weighing in at 8,540kg at $4.50 per kilo shell price,” Mr Bowness said. “The taking of illegal scallops is a threat to the ongoing sustainability of the fishery. “Scallops are an important part of the east coast trawl fishery and any undersized scallop that is gathered must be immediately returned to the water.”



    Mr Bowness said the fisher pleaded guilty in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court to possessing illegal fish.


    “The penalty reflects the seriousness of the offence, and the need for fishers to accurately measure their product to protect stocks,” he said.



    “QBFP will continue to conduct patrols and routine checks throughout the Central Queensland area.”


    If anyone suspects illegal fishing they should report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116, but refrain from engaging the person because it could compromise an investigation.
    For more information on Queensland's fishing rules, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free 'Qld fishing' smart phone app from Apple and Google app stores.


    IMO........... this guy is running a million dollar black market. Jail at minimum. AND... who is he selling to ? When will they be brought to justice ?

    LP
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  2. #2

    Re: Is this fine sufficient ?

    With our court system we're flat out getting murderers and rapists put in jail let alone fish rapists. Increase the fines, take his boat off him and his licence.

  3. #3

    Re: Is this fine sufficient ?

    Not defending him but...

    Fine $12k
    Legitimate catch seized $30k
    Court costs ~$5k?
    Pleaded guilty

    Close to $50k lost

    Its a substantial penalty.

  4. #4

    Re: Is this fine sufficient ?

    Quote Originally Posted by PixieAU View Post
    Not defending him but...

    Fine $12k
    Legitimate catch seized $30k
    Court costs ~$5k?
    Pleaded guilty

    Close to $50k lost

    Its a substantial penalty.
    I think that's a fair first offence. A second offence should result in his licence being permanently suspended, boat confiscated and banned from any future work in commercial fishing. If he's just the skipper and not the owner of the boat, then banned from commercial fishing in any manner and 6 months in gaol.
    Democracy: Simply a system that allows the 51% to steal from the other 49%.

  5. #5

    Re: Is this fine sufficient ?

    I tend to agree with you on this LP this a so called professional in the industry, it's his lively hood and he should have more sense. Name and shame these type I say and take away his commercial licence that would probably hurt him far more than
    what the fine has. Seems to be a bit of this going on up that way it was only a few months ago fisheries were investigating a shark net contractor in relation to shark finning wonder how that one is going.

  6. #6

    Re: Is this fine sufficient ?

    I agree with both Pixie and Lovey80.

    If it was one or two accidental scollops then just a fine, but 20% is another level.

    Next time, loss of licence for 5 years, and mandatory sentencing for 12 months, forfeit catch/profits and another fine.
    Owner of the boat regardless wether skippering or not same sentence.

  7. #7

    Re: Is this fine sufficient ?

    I heard a story years ago about the brother of a friend at the time. The brother was a pro-crabber up mid/North Queensland somewhere (I don't recall). The story goes: Due to the big tides and the number of pots to check and re-bait in this system he used to put a big plastic drum in the middle of the boat and empty all the crabs into it and continue on so he could get them all done before the tides ran out and he got stuck up the system. Once he got out of the shallow water at the end of the run he would sort the legal males from the female and undersize and return them to the water.

    One day as he was coming out of the last creek, fisheries were waiting for him and of course he had a majority of undersize and female on board his vessel. I believe they did a raid on his premises as well but they only found legal crabs. Of course there was no recourse and he copped a pretty big fine. If that story was legit, I'd hate to see a gaol term and the book thrown under those circumstances for a first offence.

    obviously a trawler operator has no excuse as the catch is sorted as soon as nets go back into the water.
    Democracy: Simply a system that allows the 51% to steal from the other 49%.

  8. #8

    Re: Is this fine sufficient ?

    Whether it is adequate or not depends on the maximum allowable fine, previous history of being naughty, extent of the breach in the overall scheme of dastardly activities.

    If the maximum available fine that could be applied was $15k, then yes I would see it as adequate, if it was $100k, no I wouldn't.

  9. #9

    Re: Is this fine sufficient ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lovey80 View Post
    I heard a story years ago about the brother of a friend at the time. The brother was a pro-crabber up mid/North Queensland somewhere (I don't recall). The story goes: Due to the big tides and the number of pots to check and re-bait in this system he used to put a big plastic drum in the middle of the boat and empty all the crabs into it and continue on so he could get them all done before the tides ran out and he got stuck up the system. Once he got out of the shallow water at the end of the run he would sort the legal males from the female and undersize and return them to the water.

    One day as he was coming out of the last creek, fisheries were waiting for him and of course he had a majority of undersize and female on board his vessel. I believe they did a raid on his premises as well but they only found legal crabs. Of course there was no recourse and he copped a pretty big fine. If that story was legit, I'd hate to see a gaol term and the book thrown under those circumstances for a first offence.

    obviously a trawler operator has no excuse as the catch is sorted as soon as nets go back into the water.
    That may be a bit tough on the fisherman, but the whole idea of letting the undersize and females go is that they are released relatively unharmed and go on to grow and procreate.

  10. #10

    Re: Is this fine sufficient ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lovey80 View Post
    I heard a story years ago about the brother of a friend at the time. The brother was a pro-crabber up mid/North Queensland somewhere (I don't recall). The story goes: Due to the big tides and the number of pots to check and re-bait in this system he used to put a big plastic drum in the middle of the boat and empty all the crabs into it and continue on so he could get them all done before the tides ran out and he got stuck up the system. Once he got out of the shallow water at the end of the run he would sort the legal males from the female and undersize and return them to the water.

    One day as he was coming out of the last creek, fisheries were waiting for him and of course he had a majority of undersize and female on board his vessel. I believe they did a raid on his premises as well but they only found legal crabs. Of course there was no recourse and he copped a pretty big fine. If that story was legit, I'd hate to see a gaol term and the book thrown under those circumstances for a first offence.

    obviously a trawler operator has no excuse as the catch is sorted as soon as nets go back into the water.
    The problem with "loop-holes" is that people will exploit them. Keep it simple. If you have illegal catch you will be prosecuted.

  11. #11

    Re: Is this fine sufficient ?

    Well there won't be any second offence here. I am told the boat and crew that went missing off Fraser on the 11th are one and the same. Calls were made by concerned commercial fishermen two weeks ago when his VMS went blank at 2am and a search didn't start until Friday just gone. They hadn't no chance of surviving more than a night off Fraser without an immediate search. Sad nothing was done.
    Democracy: Simply a system that allows the 51% to steal from the other 49%.

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