Fishers fined $10,500 for exceeding whiting bag limit
IT MUST surely go down as one of the most expensive fishing trips in recent memory: two anglers convicted and fined $10,500 for bagging 10 times more than they should have.
The species is the table favourite trumpeter whiting, a common enough catch in this corner of the world.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district manager Greg Bowness reported that two men fronted Hervey Bay Magistrates Court for their crimes.
He said "following a complaint from a member of the public, QBFP officers executed a search warrant at one fisher's residence locating 73 bags of trumpeter whiting fillets (a total of 650 fish) in a freezer, and a commercial fishing net in a shed".
"Pleading guilty to the charges, the fisher was convicted and fined $6500 and the fish and net forfeited," Mr Bowness said.
"A roadside search of the second fisher's vehicle and boat located an esky containing 60 bags of fish fillets (totalling 500 fish)."
The fisher acknowledged his guilt so was convicted and fined $4000 and his fish forfeited.
"In both cases, the fishers admitted to knowingly exceeding the legal possession limits of 50 trumpeter (winter) whiting per person," he said.
Following the court case, QBFP issued a warning.
Mr Bowness said possession limits referred to the total number of fish someone could legally have in their possession at any one time - it did not apply on a per day basis.
"This includes the fish you have caught previously that are in your esky, on your boat or in the freezer at home," he added.