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Shark control contractor accused of shark finning

RAIDS at Rainbow Beach more than a year ago which resulted in four sets of shark fins being found in a freezer at one property, will have a sequel in a Brisbane court next month.

A Fisheries Queensland spokesperson said on August 18, 2017, the Rainbow Beach shark control program contractor voluntarily agreed to cease operating the contract pending court proceedings.

The spokesperson said the program would continue to operate serviced by a Sunshine Coast-based contractor.

"Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol commenced an investigation into alleged illegal fishing activities involving a Shark Control Program contractor at Rainbow Beach in June 2016," the spokesperson said.

"The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has commenced legal proceedings, filing a complaint and summons with the Cleveland courthouse on 16 August 2017.

"No further comment will be made while the matter is before the court."

The matters are listed for hearing on October 19.

In August last year Fisheries Queensland acknowledged it had launched an investigation after search warrants were executed at a number of premises at Rainbow Beach.

A range of items including shark fins were seized.

"The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been laid in relation to this matter," a Fisheries spokesperson said at the time.

It would not confirm reports that a Queensland Government contractor was subject to those investigations.

Shark finning is illegal in Queensland with strict rules in place to protect breeding adults and to discourage any potential for black marketing of shark and their fins.

Queensland legislation requires anyone taking a shark fin to retain the body of the shark whilst at sea.

The rule is in place to act as a deterrent to targeting the animals for their fins alone.

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