A COMMERCIAL fisherman has been fined $10,000 for possessing a large number of undersized scallops, with $21,000 from the proceeds of sale of the scallops forfeited to the state.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol investigator Deryk Smith said a routine inspection of a trawler at Hervey Bay in March last year found more than a quarter of the scallops were undersized.
"It is important that fishers accurately measure their product to protect stocks and give scallops being returned to the water the best possible chance of survival," Mr Smith said.
"We recognise that accidental chipping and breakages of legal shell post catch can occur and consideration is given to this, however, in this instance, the operator was found with a significant quantity of undersized scallop. While it appears that this was not a deliberate act, there is no excuse for not complying with the rules.
"The penalty handed down by the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court, which includes a $10,000 fine and $21,595 in proceeds of the sale forfeited, sends a strong message to fishers to do the right thing."
Mr Smith said under the Fisheries Regulation, a person must not take, possess or sell more than seven per cent of scallops that are less than 9 cm for that time of year.
Fishwatch hotline is 1800 017 116.