Officers still on patrol

CONCERNS about the reduction of hours for fisheries officers patrolling our waters have been addressed by Fisheries Queensland Managing Director Jim Groves.

There has been some concern raised over recent weeks that fisheries patrol officers may no longer be working on weekends or after hours but this has been refuted by Mr Groves.

“District patrols are rostered according to local needs,” he said.

“However, as a responsible department we must ensure funds are invested as efficiently as possible and patrols must be conducted within budgetary constraints.

“Patrols are targeted at those areas where they are most needed or where there has been significant non-compliance. “For operational reasons, Queensland Boating and Fisheries does not confirm where and when patrols are undertaken. “Highlighting where patrols are not active at a given time may encourage non-compliant behaviour by fishers.”

Fisheries Queensland manages the 24-hour a day seven day a week Fishwatch Hotline where fishers can log complaints about suspected illegal fishing activities.

There are currently 102 Boating and Fisheries Patrol authorised officers working from offices throughout the state. In 2009, officers carried out 43,687 fisheries inspections which resulted in a total of 1094 fines or prosecutions.

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