AUSTRALIA - The Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) has significantly increased 'in port' inspections over the past year in a bid to continue safeguarding the fishing industry.
QBFP Manager Ian Fricke said more 'in port' inspections were conducted following ongoing concerns from industry about non-compliance and to ensure the integrity of the quota managed fisheries.
"In 2013/14, QBFP implemented a new focus to conduct more 'in port' inspections of quota managed fisheries," said Mr Fricke.
"For the coral reef fin fishery, 256 in port inspections were conducted during the year compared to 78 in the previous year.
"For the Spanish mackerel fisheries, 172 'in port' inspections were conducted compared to 34 in the previous year.
"The significant increase in the number of 'in port' inspections aims to ensure compliance in these fisheries and stamp out any potential for under or non-reporting of quota managed fisheries."
Mr Fricke said illegal practices can affect the sustainability of fish species as well as industry investment in these fisheries.
"Under or non-reporting of quota managed fisheries undermines the integrity of a quota managed fishery," he said
"Anyone who suspects illegal fishing, whether seen in person or online, should report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.
"We would like to acknowledge the support provided by the majority of industry participants whilst we perform our inspections.
"QBFP will continue to conduct 'in port' and 'at sea' inspections and will undertake surveillance operations to catch illegal fishing."
TheFishSite News Desk