The secret crusader helping stop illegal crabbing
BUNDABERG has a new hero.
He does not walk among us, but lies in the shadows.
He knows when you've been bad or good.
He is Crab Man.
This crab crusader, who wishes to remain anonymous, is seeking to save illegally caught crabs from the clutches of those who would obtain them through illegal means.
Crab Man runs the Crab Watch Qld Facebook page where users are encouraged to report, name and shame anyone caught taking undersized crabs.
This week a Bundaberg man was reported to the site for trying to sell mud crabs for $20 each.
Like every hero, Crab Man has an origin story, which began in Redland Bay in 2014.
"I was starting to get told from local kids that they couldn't even get a spot on the jetty due to people doing the wrong thing," Crab Man said.
"I pulled the phone out and called fisheries, no one could come out so I started to film it.
"I posted the video up and overnight it went viral."
He said the feedback from fishers and the public was overwhelmingly positive.
But not all look favourably on the man who walks sideways.
Fisheries Queensland says in Bundaberg, 14 people have been detected in relation to 19 mud crabbing offences since January 1 this year.
It has taken action against 499 people for illegal crabbing involving mud crabs and blue swimmer crabs across the state.
There have been 312 Fisheries Infringement Notices issued, 258 Caution Notices and 18 court prosecutions, with fines totalling more than $153,000.
But Fisheries Queensland does not name offenders.
"If people suspect illegal crabbing, they should report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116. Don't engage the person, as this can compromise an investigation," a Fisheries Queensland spokesman said.
Under Fisheries regulations, penalties for crabbing-related offences include on-the-spot fines which range from $243 for undersized crabs and excess possession limits to $1219 for interfering with crabbing apparatus.
Maximum penalties can exceed $120,000.