A RECREATIONAL fisher has learned an expensive lesson after receiving a fine totalling $4000 for exceeding recreational fishing possession limits.
As a result of a Fishwatch complaint, a caravan was intercepted after departing a caravan park in North Queensland.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) district officer Robert Ibell said 451 skinned portions of fin fish, 103 barred javelin and 22 flathead were found in two separate freezers in the fisher's caravan.
"A possession limit refers to the total number of fish an individual can legally take and have in their possession at any one time-it does not apply on a per day basis," Mr Ibell said.
"This includes the fish you have caught previously that are in your esky, on your boat or in the freezer at home.
"Both barred javelin and flathead species have a possession limit of 10.
"This fisher was well over their permitted individual limit and pleaded guilty at the Ayr Magistrates Court for exceeding possession limits."
Mr Ibell said a large number of fish fillets were found in unmarked sealed bags in the freezer.
"A good practice is to mark all fillets in bags with the species and number of fillets so fishers can keep a track of the number and type of fish they have caught."
Mr Ibell said fishers need to familiarise themselves with the size and possession limits for all of Queensland's regulated species.
"If we are to continue to enjoy fishing, everyone must share the resources and abide by the laws," he said.
If you suspect illegal fishing, whether seen in person or online, report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.
Don't engage the person, as this can compromise an investigation.
All information provided to the hotline will be prioritised based on potential fishery risks, accuracy and reliability with an appropriate response formulated.
For more information on Queensland fishing closures, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23.
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