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Fishers hooked over catch 35 times above the legal limit

The bag limit is 50 pipis but one vehicle searched on North Stradbroke Island contained more than 1700 of the bivalves in three eskies.
The bag limit is 50 pipis but one vehicle searched on North Stradbroke Island contained more than 1700 of the bivalves in three eskies.

THE public has been asked for support detecting fishers who ignore bag limits for catches on Sunshine Coast beaches.

The call by Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) comes after officers found 1763 pipis when they intercepted five recreational fishers in a 4WD vehicle on North Stradbroke Island.

The possession limit is 50 pipis per person in Queensland meaning the combined catch should have been no more than 250.

Two of the recreational fishers from Brisbane were charged for taking excess pipis and each fined $1200 in the Cleveland Magistrates Court.

While there have been no similar offences detected at Noosa North Shore this year Noosa Councillor Frank Pardon has called for the State Government to impose vehicle limits for catches as well as individual totals.

Noosa Council is also considering a ban on trawler fishing in the Noosa River.

Cr Pardon is campaigning for the council to partner with the State Government to buy out commercial beach netting licences on the Noosa North Shore.

The last recorded offence on Noosa North Shore was in October 2015 when a fisher found in possession of 147 pipis was issued a $471 Fisheries Infringement Notice. 

ILLEGAL HAUL

When officers intercepted a vehicle on North Stradbroke Island, QBFP field officer Chris Watts said officers discovered three eskies containing a total of 1763 pipis.

"QBFP received information about a group of fishers collecting pipis on Main Beach at North Stradbroke Island on 14 July 2015," Mr Watts said. 

"The vehicle's driver said the shellfish were collected for personal use. 

"All the pipis were counted and released alive back on the Main Beach at North Stradbroke Island."

A QBFP spokesperson said targeted operations were launched in response to community concerns and specific intelligence information.

"QBFP relies on the ongoing support of the public to provide relevant and timely information about potential offences against our valuable fishery resources," the spokesperson said. 

To report illegal fishing activities in Queensland, people should phone the 24-hour Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116 (toll-free within Queensland) or complete the online report at: www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries/services/illegal-fishing-activities.

Topics:  bag limits, cr frank pardon, fines, fishing, illegal catches, netting ban, noosa north shore, noosa river, outdoor-living, pipis, queensland boating and fisheries patrol, surveillance


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