Australia Defence Vessel Cape Inscription Navigation Officer Lieutenant Rhys Worboys and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority officer Dwaine Butcher in front of Reef Ranger, a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service vessel. Picture: Contributed
Australia Defence Vessel Cape Inscription Navigation Officer Lieutenant Rhys Worboys and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority officer Dwaine Butcher in front of Reef Ranger, a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service vessel. Picture: Contributed

Hi-tech navy joins search for illegal fishers in QLD waters

The Royal Australian Navy has brought their high tech equipment to the fight against illegal fishers within marine parks off the Queensland coast.

The recent eight-day surveillance mission between the Maritime Border Command and the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority extended from Cape Bowling Green near Townsville down to the northern tip of Fraser Island including Whitsunday, Tern, Capricorn and Bunker islands.

The search used the Cairns-based Australian Defence Vessel Cape Inscription as well as helicopter flyovers and a MX-10 telescopic camera on Cape Inscription's bridge to detect night fishers.

More stories:

Group slams 'barbaric' laws after shark mutilation

WANTED: Fishers to report sightings of female mud crabs

Mackay pair crowned Australia's best barramundi fishers

Most of the illegal activity was found off the coast of Gladstone near the Capricorn and Bunker islands.

GBRMPA officer Dwaine Butcher, the first to join a navy vessel on such an operation, said it was an "unforgettable" experience.

"I really enjoyed my time with the crew as well as seeing the capability of Maritime Border Command assets," Mr Butcher said.

"I am looking forward to enhancing the bond between our two agencies."

Subscriber benefits:

Daily puzzles and Sudoku another reason to stay subscribed

We're still here: How to contact your journalists

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Richard Currie said the joint mission ensured continued protection of the reef.

"The tasking was a great opportunity to strengthen our ties with the GBRMPA," Lieutenant Commander Currie said.

"Providing their officers with a platform such as Cape Inscription allowed the GBRMPA to enforce the marine park rules at night and in areas that cannot normally be achieved."



Lions install two more lifesaving devices in Valley

Premium Content Lions install two more lifesaving devices in Valley

Defib fit-out continues across the Orara Valley as Lions come to the rescue

BACK ON TRACK: Rail line reopens following crash

Premium Content BACK ON TRACK: Rail line reopens following crash

Rail repair done in record time as the first train rolls through Nana Glen since...

Notorious black spot records first crash for 2021

Premium Content Notorious black spot records first crash for 2021

Two months passed before the towies were called to infamous ditch