Patrols out in force these school holidays
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) compliance officers will be out in full force over the school holidays as patrols across the Marine Park ramp up to tackle illegal fishing.
GBRMPA field management director Richard Quincey said GBRMPA and partner agencies would boost patrols on the water, in the air and from the land to detect illegal recreational fishing during this busy time.
“There is no excuse for illegal fishing. Our compliance patrols run day and night. If you’re caught fishing in a green zone you can expect an $1800 infringement notice," Mr Quincey said.
“We’re especially targeting intentional illegal recreational fishing in no-take green zones and high risk areas, including shoals and shipwrecks at night.
“You need to know where you are at all times when out on the water. The best way to do this is to use a GPS to keep an eye on where you are, cross check your location with a zoning map and if you have a GPS chart plotter, know how zones are displayed on your unit.
“We treat any poaching in marine protected areas as a serious offence — compounded across the whole Marine Park illegal fishing can have significant ecological impacts.
“Marine Park green zones are critical for protecting and conserving the biodiversity of marine ecosystems. They help protect fish breeding and nursery habitats such as seagrasses, mangroves, and shoals.
“Green zones are more important than ever as the Reef ecosystem recovers from the worst coral bleaching event to hit the Marine Park — doing whatever we can to minimise impacts is critical to allow the ecosystem to recover in the longer term.”
Marine Park users can report suspected illegal fishing and other activities to 1800 380 048 (24 hour) or via an online incident report form at www.gbrmpa.gov.au/report-an-incident.
Free zoning maps are available at bait and tackle shops, visitor information centres, ship chandlers and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol offices. Alternatively, free zoning maps are available from GBRMPA by calling 1800 990 177 or by downloading them from this website.
The Queensland Fisheries app provides information on regulations and can be used to keep an eye on your location within zones. When using the app it is important to cross-check your location with a zoning map. It can be downloaded on iTunes or GooglePlay.
If you are planning to camp at an island national park campground, remember to purchase a camping permit online at www.npsr.qld.gov.au, and follow national park camping rules by not lighting campfires, leaving your domestic animals at home and taking all of your rubbish home with you when you leave. To prevent the introduction of invasive species, check your camping gear for seeds, insects and vermin before you go.
Name: GBRMPA media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846
If you're heading out on the water, download and use the free zoning app so you know where you can go and what you can do.
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