Two commercial fishers have been fined after being caught illegally fishing in a no-take green zone in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
Two commercial fishers have been fined after being caught illegally fishing in a no-take green zone in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Contributed

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.