How to keep the reef safe from poachers this summer



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The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is urging recreational fishers to make sure they only take fish from allowed spots on the reef during the holiday season.

Several recreational fishers have faced convictions in recent months for fishing in no-take green zones.

The GBRMPA field management assistant director, Ben Kettle, said while most people are on holidays, fishing compliance officers are working overtime.

“This is a busy time of the year for our compliance unit with aerial and vessel patrols running day and night over the Christmas holidays, targeting illegal fishing activities reef-wide,” he said.

“Don’t be complacent about where you are and what you’re doing— if you’re caught poaching in a no-take green zone, you’ll receive a $2100 fine.”

Mr Kettle said complying with the fishing and non-fishing zones helps to protect the reef’s future and ensure fish stocks are healthy for future generations.

“Grab your free zoning map, make sure you know where you are at all times when on the water and what your allowed to do in each zone,” he said.

“If you have a GPS, cross-check it with the zoning maps.

“The Authority has a strong commitment to protecting the World Heritage Area from illegal activities and we have a no-tolerance approach to poaching in marine national park zones.

“It’s stealing and it impacts on everyone.”

All recreational fishers are encouraged to report incidents of illegal fishing to the GBRMPA if they see someone fishing illegally on the reef.

“Any information is invaluable and all reported incidents are taken seriously,” Mr Kettle said.

Zoning maps are available from bait and tackle shops, Community Access Points, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, by contacting the Authority on 1800 990 177 and on the GBRMPA website.

Report poaching and other suspected illegal activity anonymously via the Authority’s 24-hour hotline: 1800 380 048 or online.



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