26 September 2023

QPWS in illegal crab pot clean-up

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The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) has announced that a record-breaking number of illegal crab pots have been removed from Pumicestone Passage as part of a three-day joint clean-up operation by Marine Park Rangers and Fisheries Officers.

The QPWS and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol Officers removed 195 derelict or illegal crab pots from the Pumicestone Passage section of the Moreton Bay Marine Park.

Senior QPWS Ranger, Mike Carr said derelict crab pots were a massive issue for marine wildlife species as they can continued to ‘ghost fish’ for years and entrapped all sorts of other marine species.

“Last year, at least 42 turtles were reported to have been tangled or entrapped in crab pots in the Moreton Bay Marine Park. Unfortunately, most of those turtles did not survive,” Mr Carr said.

“Other marine animals such as dugong, dolphins and whales can also become entangled in crab pot float lines.”

He said the remains of a turtle, cormorant and a shovelnose shark were found in the derelict pots recovered from the Pumicestone Passage.

“Thankfully, the teams were able to successfully release many animals such as fish, crabs and wobbegong sharks that were found alive trapped in the pots,” Mr Carr said.

District Officer of the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol, Tom Richards urged fishers to crab responsibly when out on the water.

“Check crab pots regularly and remove them from the water when they are not being used,” Mr Richards said.

Photos of the event can be accessed at this PS News link.

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