Crushing warning to fishermen
Fisherman caught breaking the rules will risk reeling in a big fine - and losing their boat.
That's the message Department of Agriculture and Fisheries hoped to send when they crushed the boat of a Kuraby fisherman found guilty of selling redclaw crayfish on the black market.
Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said he hoped it would send a stern warning to all fishers.
"If fishers are thinking about breaking the rules, they had better be ready to risk losing their fishing boat," Mr Furner said.
"Unlicensed selling of fisheries resources undermines the legitimate commercial fishing industry and threatens Queensland's reputation as a producer of high-quality seafood."
The Kuraby fisherman was caught red-handed by patrol officers selling 200 redclaw to a Sunnybank restaurant in March last year.
In court, the fisherman plead guilty to five charges, including selling fisheries without a licence and using 78 excess and unmarked freshwater traps.
He was fined $7600 and had his 4.3m boat forfeited which was later displayed at Scarborough and Manly boat ramps as a warning to other fishers.
The Sunnybank restaurant manager, who said he bought the redclaw for a staff party, was fined $1000 after pleading guilty to one count of selling seafood without an authority.
Mr Furner said the Queensland Government currently had fishing reforms before parliament.
The reforms included stronger compliance powers for fisheries officers and higher penalties for offenders.
"The community has been calling for change to fisheries legislation for many years and these proposed reforms will bring Queensland fisheries management in line with world's best practice," Mr Furner said.