Sunday, November 28, 2021

Black marketing fish is illegal: seized boat goes under the hammer

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The Honourable Mark Furner, Qld Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, Media Release, 28 October 2021

A boat used repeatedly for illegal black market fishing on the Sunshine Coast and seized by fisheries officers is being sold to the highest bidder at auction.

The half-cabin vessel, two outboard motors and a trailer were forfeited to the State during a successful court prosecution which also included fines of almost $20,000.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said black marketing of fish is illegal and there are severe consequences for those who break the law.

“Commit a serious fishing offence and you risk losing your boat,” Mr Furner said.

“Catching or selling fish without a licence undermines the viability of commercial fishing, the competitiveness of legitimate seafood processors and buyers and affects Queensland’s reputation as a producer of high-quality seafood.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to protecting Queensland’s valuable fisheries resources.

“That’s why we have amended the Fisheries Act 1994 to strengthen the enforcement powers of fisheries inspectors and penalties for serious fisheries offences.”

Queensland fisheries officers seized the vessel and a significant quantity of fish during an investigation in early 2020.

A fisher who did not hold a commercial fishing licence and committed repeated black marketing offences pleaded guilty to 20 charges involving the unlawful possession or sale of fish. The court fined the offender $5,000 plus costs and ordered the vessel be forfeited.

A co-defendant and buyer of the fish also pleaded guilty and was fined $14,225 plus costs.

Manheim Auctions is selling the 5.2 metre Kozi Cat, outboard motors and trailer during a live online auction from 28 October to 3 November 2021.

Proceeds from the sale of the seized vessel will be used for future fisheries compliance through education and enforcement.

To view or be part of the live auction, visit Truck & Machinery Auction Catalogue – Fisheries Queensland: Seized Boat Sale – Lane 0 – Manheim Eagle Farm, Brisbane, Queensland

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