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Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol: 50 Years in Service

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol: 50 Years in Service

July 4, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 11.14.10 amFisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson took to the water on 1 July 2016 to mark the golden anniversary of the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP).

The Minister joined a crew on patrol from Burnett Heads as she congratulated the QBFP on 50 years of service protecting the state’s fisheries.

“This is a significant and historic milestone and I want to thank past and present employees who’ve protected our valuable fisheries resources and played a vital role in ensuring public safety on the water for half a century,” Minister Donaldson said.

“There are currently 104 patrol personnel and 26 offshore vessels in QBFP, but it wasn’t always so well resourced.

“Queensland’s original Boating Patrol Service was established on 5 July 1966 to enforce fisheries and marine regulations.

“The patrol had an initial intake of 13 recruits and in May 1968 the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol became fully operational across the state.

“Back in 1969 there were only 279 offences detected under the Fisheries Act including two cases of taking fish by means of explosives.

“Last year, there were more than 2,300 offences detected with more than 26,000 inspections of fishers, boats, vehicles, campsites, seafood marketers and properties and 20,500 marine inspections.

“During the 1980s, QBFP used air surveillance when the annual closed season for barramundi was introduced and to enforce the closed season for prawns in the Gulf of Carpentaria.”

Minister Donaldson said QBFP continues to play a critical role in ensuring fisheries resources and habitats are managed sustainably for the future.

“Queensland has more than 642,000 recreational fishers and 1,400 commercial fishing vessels,” she said.

“QBFP uses state-of-the-art offshore patrol boats, rigid inflatable boats, quad bikes and personal watercraft to monitor 7,000 kilometres of coastline and hundreds of inland fishing areas.

“The majority of fishers do the right thing, however, last year we received more than 900 calls to our Fishwatch hotline about suspected unlawful fishing.”

“QBFP operates in waters up to 200 nautical miles off the coast.

“Officers perform compliance duties under multiple State and Commonwealth Acts and deliver education programs through industry consultation, community events, lectures to schools and community groups.

“They also work in partnership with agencies including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Queensland Police Service, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Maritime Safety Queensland, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, local Councils and waterway authorities.”

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