A RECREATIONAL crabber has been convicted and fined $11,000 in the Holland Park Magistrates Court for illegal crabbing offences.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol field officer David Kahler said Gold Coast officers executed a search warrant last year after extensive surveillance pertaining to the illegal sale of mud crabs on the black market.
"Officers intercepted a load of undersize and female mud crabs that were tied and packaged ready to be delivered to the black market," Mr Kahler said.
"More regulated mud crabs were found inside the residence, believed to be destined for sale.
"The offender was charged and pleaded guilty to multiple counts of unlawful possession of female and undersize mud crabs, unlawful sale of mud crabs and for possession of excess mud crabs."
Mr Kahler said the penalty handed down by the Magistrate should serve as a timely reminder to all recreational fishers that may engage in the unlawful taking or sale of fisheries resources.
"The black market sale of fish is a serious issue in Queensland that not only undermines the sustainability of fish stocks but it also devalues the product supplied by commercial fishers who rely on it for their livelihood," he said.
"The illegal trade in fish and crabs is also of health concern to the public as there are no requirements for safe food hygiene standards placed upon black market suppliers.
"It's important that everyone abides by the rules to assist long-term sustainability and resource sharing."
If anyone suspects illegal fishing, please report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116 so that it can be investigated.
For more information on fishing rules, visit http://www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.
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