Commercial fishers face court and cop hefty fine
IT WAS sink or swim for two commercial fishers in Mackay Magistrates Court, who were convicted and fined $9000 for illegal fishing offences in a no-take green zone in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Aerial surveillance patrols detected the fishers illegally fishing from a commercial fishing dory anchored in a Marine National Park (no-take green) Zone in the Swain Reefs on January 5.
It was heard the commercial fishing dory operator didn't have a GPS plotter on board.
The magistrate fined the dory operator $5000 for fishing in no-take areas around the Swain Reefs, plus the master of the primary commercial fishing vessel was fined $4000.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's field management and compliance assistant director Ben Kettle said it was a timely reminder for all fishers to know the rules.
Mr Kettle said fishers who ignored Marine Park zoning rules could expect to get caught and face hefty fines.