A Queensland Boating and Fishing Patrol officer reigns in an illegal fishing net found in Keppel Bay's net free zone on September 2.
A Queensland Boating and Fishing Patrol officer reigns in an illegal fishing net found in Keppel Bay's net free zone on September 2.

UPDATE: Illegal 45m fishing net found in broad daylight

UPDATE: An investigation is still being conducted into an illegal commercial fishing net found in Keppel Bay, inside the Capricorn Coast Net Free Zone.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district officer, Brenda Stevenson said there were no hard leads at this stage but local commercial and recreational fishers had been engaged to help identify the net.

The net was discovered by a recreational fisherman on Sunday, September 2.

 

This 45m long net was found inside the Capricorn Coast Net Free Zone earlier this month.
This 45m long net was found inside the Capricorn Coast Net Free Zone earlier this month.

It was the second one found in Keppel Bay since the NFZ was implemented on November 1, 2015.

Ms Stevenson said since then 13 commercial grade nets had been retrieved from the Capricorn Coast NFZ and three infringement notices issued with fines of $1305.

"This net was capable of holding 30-40 fish all up, possibly turtles as well and other sea life," she said.

"Any net longer than 16m or with a mesh size greater than 28mm can't be used or possessed by recreational fishers."

The dead fish found in the illegal net have been retained as evidence and are most likely to end up at the dump.

"It's a terrible waste, " Ms Stevenson said.

Anyone with information about this case or any other illegal fishing should contact the Fishwatch Hotline on 1800 017 116.

EARLIER: An illegal 45m mesh net containing nine barramundi, one queenfish and five jewfish, all over a metre long, has been found in Keppel Bay, part of the Capricorn Coast Net Free Zone.

The alert was sparked after a report from a member of the public.

 

 

Queensland Boating and Fishing Patrol officers found 15 fish, all over a metre long in the illegal net.
Queensland Boating and Fishing Patrol officers found 15 fish, all over a metre long in the illegal net.

Queensland Boating and Fishing Patrol officers in Yeppoon found the net and onlookers applauded as officers released five large barramundi which were still alive.

Queensland Fisheries reported the net was not marked and floats had been painted black to avoid detection.

Half of the net was submerged and it is suspected the net was meant to be set below the surface, as the anchor ropes were short with additional lead weights added to the lead line.

Some people questioned why net was retrieved rather than surveillance put in place to catch the perpetrators, but Queensland Fisheries said as the weather was calm and the net was set very close to the Rosslyn Bay Harbour, it was doubtful the owner would come back in daylight to retrieve it.

They said more fish would have been killed had the net been left any longer.

This story will be updated as further information becomes available.



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