Mangrove Removal Restricted for Fish Habitat Protection08 November 2012
AUSTRALIA - The Queensland Government has issued a reminder for coastal communities that Queensland's mangroves are protected against removal or damage in order to protect marine fish habitats.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district officer Brett Depper said disturbing mangroves, or other marine plants, could greatly impact important marine fish habitats.
"About 75 per cent of Queensland's fish species are dependant on estuaries and fish habitats, including mangroves for nursery grounds, feeding and shelter," Mr Depper said.
"Mangroves are a fundamental part of fish habitats in Queensland, as they help sustain fish for the future for commercial, traditional and recreational fishing.
"All marine plants are community assets that depend on ongoing protection and management to ensure their sustainability.
"All mangroves in Queensland are protected under the Fisheries Act 1994 and heavy penalties apply to any unauthorised disturbances.
"It is illegal to remove, damage or destroy any mangrove without prior approval from Fisheries Queensland, or checking that it's allowed under a self-assessable code.
"If caught doing the wrong thing, people are risking an on-the-spot fine of A$1100 and a maximum penalty of A$330,000."
Members of the public are encouraged to report any information they may have about marine plant damage to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.
For more information about marine plants, approval processes and self-assessable codes visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.
TheFishSite News Desk