Please select your home edition
Edition
Raymarine AUS Lighthouse 3 Annapolis 3.9 - TOP

Seaforth residents urged to report poaching in their patch

by GBRMPA 11 Nov 2018 06:50 UTC
Protect your patch © GBRMPA

The community of central Queensland town Seaforth is being urged to report people fishing illegally in their no-take green zones of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, as part of a multi-partner compliance and education campaign launched today.

Seaforth has the largest non-compliance rate in the marine park, becoming the first no-take green zone to record 100 poaching offences.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority field management and compliance assistant director Andrew Simpson said the community was encouraged to get on board to help protect their patch.

"The area off Seaforth is the top location in the Marine Park for illegal recreational fishing, notching up a record 100 poaching offences in the no-take zone since 2010," Mr Simpson said.

"Reporting suspected illegal activity on the Reef is simple and can be done anonymously by calling our free, 24-hour hotline number on 1800 380 048 or, if preferred, you can report online.

"We just need a few simple details like vessel identity, what they were doing, when and where, even if it's the nearest landmark.

"The more details you can provide the better and — if possible and practical — photos can be supplied. All reports are taken seriously and will be investigated."

Following increased pressures on the Reef, the Authority is cracking down on illegal fishing hotspots with targeted aerial and vessel patrols planned for day and night-time to catch poachers in the act.

Recreational fishing in no-take green zones is the most common offence in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, with reported offences increasing since 2012. Mr Simpson said figures revealed most offenders were local to areas where the poaching occurred.

"While we know most recreational fishers understand and follow the zoning rules, there are some who believe occasionally fishing in a green zone is harmless; however nothing could be further from the truth," he said.

"Anytime someone fishes illegally — whether it's for commercial or recreational purposes — it undermines the benefits of our zoning arrangements and puts the health of the Reef in jeopardy. As such, the Authority has a no-tolerance approach for those who are caught doing the wrong thing.

"It's so important for Marine Park users to protect their patch of the Reef and it's really simple: Follow the zoning rules and if you see anyone doing the wrong thing, report it."

If you fish in a green zone, you risk receiving a $2100 fine and possible conviction.

People can report suspected illegal fishing activity anonymously via the Authority's 24-hour hotline: 1800 380 048 or online at gbrmpa.gov.au/report-an-incident.

Related Articles

Reef poachers fined
A series of no-take green zone poaching offences recently went before the Cairns Marine parks helicopter patrols across North Queensland are continuing to catch fishers out poaching in green zones, with several offenders fined and convicted last month. Posted on 8 Aug
Protect your special patch of the Reef
'Protect Your Patch' to help protect the iconic Great Barrier Reef Residents and visitors in the Capricorn Coast region are being encouraged to 'Protect Your Patch' to help protect the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Posted on 10 Jul
Night patrols on the rise
Increased Great Barrier Reef patrols catching out illegal fishing Increased surveillance in the southern Great Barrier Reef means if you fish illegally in no-take green zones you will get caught regardless of the time of day. Posted on 15 Jun
Protect your special patch of the Reef
Whitsundays residents and tourists encouraged to report people fishing illegally Residents and tourists in the Whitsundays are being encouraged to report people fishing illegally in no-take green zones of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Posted on 14 Apr
Caught in the act
Commercial fishers fined for fishing in no-take zone Two commercial fishers were convicted and fined $9000 by the Mackay Magistrates Court for illegal fishing offences in a no-take green zone in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Posted on 1 Mar
From Blueprint to action: progress report
Plan for Great Barrier Reef Blueprint for resilience We've released From Blueprint to action: progress report — it outlines the progress and successes one year on from the release of our Great Barrier Reef Blueprint for resilience. Posted on 7 Dec 2018
Aerial surveillance snags poachers
Four fishers received large fines Four fishers received large fines in central Queensland for illegal fishing-related offences in no-take green zones of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Posted on 28 Oct 2018
Report poaching
There's renewed calls for all visitors to report suspected illegal activity Following new global research, one third of fishers surveyed reported witnessing poaching but most did nothing about it. Posted on 9 Sep 2018
Crown-of-thorns boost
Marine Park Authority can call upon five new crown-of-thorns starfish control suppliers Marine Park Authority can call upon five new crown-of-thorns starfish control suppliers to provide more vessels and trained crews as part of an all-out assault on coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish in the Great Barrier Reef. Posted on 7 Sep 2018
How does science help to manage Great Barrier Reef
Talking science with Dr David Wachenfeld and Dr Britta Schaffelke As part of National Science Week, check out Chief Scientist Dr David Wachenfeld and Dr Britta Schaffelke from the Australian Institute of Marine Science discussing Reef monitoring and using data for management. Posted on 16 Aug 2018
Nanni Diesel 2019 FooterRaymarine AUS Lighthouse 3 Annapolis 3.9 - BOTTOMMarina Exchange FOOTER 1