CAUGHT: Hundreds of metres of fishing net that were pulled from Peter Faust Dam.
CAUGHT: Hundreds of metres of fishing net that were pulled from Peter Faust Dam. Contributed

Illegal fishing in Proserpine Dam

LOCAL Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) officers have made a major find in the Peter Faust Dam, pulling more than 320 metres of fishing nets from the water.

A Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol spokesperson said the find had been made by a member of the public, who then reported it to the government body.

"Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol removed three large sacks containing nets from a remote tributary of Peter Faust Dam in May 2015 after receiving reports from members of the public," the spokesperson said.

Illegal fishing can carry significant fines, with the volume of netting found by QBFP officers in Peter Faust Dam qualifying as commercial fishing.

"Using commercial nets in freshwaters is illegal; an $1100 on-the-spot fine or a maximum penalty of $35,000 applies," the QBFP spokesperson said.

Taking to social media in June, QBFP explained just how large these nets were.

"The nets measured a total of 324m in length - that's over three football fields or the length of China's latest aircraft carrier," the fishing regulator wrote.

Despite the enormous size of the nets and QBFP's use of social media to engage the public, no charges have yet been laid in relation to the incident.

"This matter is still under investigation," the QBFP spokesperson said.

Currently, all forms of net fishing are prohibited in freshwater areas.

This excludes personal fishing nets such as landing nets, scoop or dip nets, and dilly nets.

Although the matter is still being investigated, it is thought the nets were abandoned in the dam.

Again on social media, QBFP said "unfortunately, these are not the first abandoned nets seized from the dam".

It is not known how long the nets had been operating in the dam.

Anyone with any information they believe could assist QBFP in investigating the issue is asked to contact the Fishwatch Hotline on 1800 017 166.

For more information on fishing rules locally and in Queensland, visit http://www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.


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