Authorities Warn Of Illegal Shellfish Harvesting In Moreton Bay

Did you know that harvesting some shellfish species from Moreton Bay is prohibited? The regulations are in place to help the shellfish population recover.

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This comes after fisheries officers informed the State Government that they have been receiving an increasing number of reports about fishers breaking the rules.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol has conducted a vehicle search where they uncovered 645 mud whelks and the offenders were issued with Fisheries Infringement Notice fines of $2,204 in total.

According to Member of Redlands Kim Richards, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers recently responded to a call to the Fishwatch hotline and found four offenders at Thorneside in possession of hundreds of gastropods.

In 2019, the Queensland Government introduced new management arrangements to protect gastropod and bivalve molluscs from excessive harvesting.

Member for Pumicestone Ali King said the species are highly susceptible to depletion because they are sedentary and can be easily harvested in fishing grounds close to urban centres.

“These restrictions were necessary so we can build a legacy of a sustainable fishery for our children and grandchildren,” Ms King said.

“Gastropod and bivalve molluscs including mud arks, mud whelks and cockles, cannot be taken from closed waters in Moreton Bay,” she said.

Meanwhile, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers will be conducting their regular compliance checks around Moreton Bay closed waters and urged fishers to always fish by the rules.

“Our state’s fisheries resources belong to all Queenslanders and it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect fish stocks for the future,” Mr Furner said.

People who suspect illegal fishing activity should report it to the 24 hour toll-free Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.