WATCH: Gladstone crabber losing livelihood to thieves
A GLADSTONE professional crabber has warned thieves he won't cop them ripping off his crabs and pots.
Alan Grayson says he is sick of the ongoing thievery in the waters around Boyne Island and South Trees and he, like others, won't tolerate it.
Losses represent a huge cost to the licensed crabbers and Alan Grayson, who has been in the industry 25 years, said he had 20 pots worth over $50 each stolen last year on top of the crabs also taken.
He claims to have "caught red handed jacking up my gear (pot)" a man who brought public nuisance and assault charges against him.
"He dropped it when he saw us," Mr Grayson said.
"I'm not in the business of harassing people but I won't tolerate them stealing my crabs. I'm just trying to sustain a livelihood and keep the thieves away.
"We are not taking the law in our hands but we are not going to stand for people stealing our livelihood," Mr Grayson said.
"Fisheries have caught people but it is hard to police. And fines are not enough."
Mr Grayson said a change in government rules and closure of Fitzroy river to nets had put more people into smaller areas. And it was too easy to buy crabbing entitlements.
"Since fish market prices went up everybody wants to be in the industry. They cause trouble because they are greedy," he said.
And every summer season Mr Grayson said brought "shit fights" with crabbers fighting for their spots and last year boats had been rammed up in The Narrows.
To police it you would need to be living on a big boat 24/7," he said.