Coast fish breeder fined $2000 for undersized, illegal fish
A SUNSHINE Coast fish breeder has been fined $2617 for a number of offences including possession of 26 tilapia.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district officer Russell Overton said an investigation was undertaken when reports of illegal fish being advertised for sale on Gumtree were received from the public.
In a joint investigation with Fisheries Queensland biologists and Queensland Water Police, a search warrant of the breeder's property uncovered 26 tilapia, seven undersize mangrove jack and one undersize moses perch.
"It is illegal to possess noxious fish such as tilapia alive or dead-they cannot be kept, hatched, reared or sold, or taken home for eating or any other purpose," Mr Overton said.
"If caught, they must be immediately killed and disposed of away from waterways, either by burial or disposal in a bin.
"The breeder was fined $569 for possession of tilapia and $910 for unlawful possession of the undersize mangrove jack and moses perch for trade or commerce."
A caution notice was also issued for taking the fish from wild fisheries resources as aquaculture broodstock without a licence.
Harvesting stock from Queensland waters for aquaculture requires a permit which can be obtained from Fisheries Queensland or purchased from an authorised wholesaler."
The breeder was also fined $1138 under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 for failing to comply with aquaculture development codes.
Mr Overton said commercial aquaculture operations must comply with strict approval processes to ensure protection for the natural waterways and environment.
"QBFP will be conducting regular follow-up inspections on the property to ensure no further offences occur in the future," he said.
"It is important that everyone abides by Queensland's fisheries rules to assist long-term sustainability and resource sharing."
If anyone suspects illegal fishing, please report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.