Great Barrier Reef Marine Park aerial patrols have detected a number of alleged illegal fishing offences in the Capricorn Bunker Group, offshore of Gladstone, this month.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park aerial patrols have detected a number of alleged illegal fishing offences in the Capricorn Bunker Group, offshore of Gladstone, this month.

Aerial patrols catch ‘illegal’ fishers off Gladstone

AERIAL surveillance patrols have detected a string of alleged illegal fishing offences in the Capricorn Bunker Group, offshore of Gladstone.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has confirmed that a recent aerial surveillance flight detected 14 suspected recreational offences in the marine park off Gladstone.

It said 10 of the alleged offences detected during October 10 surveillance patrols related to fishing.

The other four involved people allegedly being caught in the One Tree Island Scientific Research (orange) Zone.

"We're continuing to detect people in the no-entry orange zone at One Tree Island Reef, off Gladstone," the authority said.

"To clarify, you cannot enter the island or its surrounding waters without permission. "Important research and monitoring is being undertaken in this area."

Six of the alleged fishing offences involved boaties in a Marine National Park (green) Zone.

Two others related to allegedly spearfishing in a green zone at Polmaise Reef.

One of the alleged fishing offences involved fishing in a Scientific Research (orange) Zone, while another related to fishing in a Preservation (pink) Zone at Wreck Island.

A Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority spokesperson said all of these matters were still under investigation.

People caught fishing in a Marine National Park Zone face a $2220 fine.

Those entering a Preservations Zone can be hit with a $2664 penalty.

While the fine for entering a "no-entry" Scientific Research zone is $2664.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority encourages people to report any incidents to its 24-hour hotline 1800 380 048, or via www.gbrmpa.gov.au.