Tag Archives: Queensland

Fisherman Yarn Garrick Ward accused of making deckhand swim across crocodile-inhabited river walks free

A professional fisherman accused of torturing his deckhand, including making him swim across a crocodile-inhabited river, has been found not guilty in a Far North Queensland court. Yarn Garrick Ward, from the small fishing community of Karumba, was on trial at the District Court in Cairns this week over the torture of Cairns man George Jelef in 2019. It took the jury less than half a day on Friday to find Mr Ward not guilty. Mr Ward denied assaulting Mr Jelef and suggested his deckhand was under the influence of drugs, which he said would describe his “erratic” behaviour. >click to read< 09:23

Goodbye F/V Santiego, Hello F/V Diamond Lil

It’s always sad when an old lady of the sea is shipped off to far away waters especially when they’ve been a permanent sight in Port Douglas for decades. Such is the case with the FV Santiego, built in Brisbane and owned by her skipper Laurie Moull. The fishing trawler has been in operation for 21 years and to see her sail off into the sunset is tinged with sadness. The old girl is now in Innisfail with her new owners and their gain is certainly our loss, however skipper Laurie is like a kid in a candy shop because he has a new gal in his life. He’s bought a new vessel named ‘Diamond Lil’ and she’s a ‘BIG UN’. Laurie and the crew will be proudly showing off Diamond Lil this weekend at the Port Douglas public jetty when they sell their new season prawns tomorrow and Sunday. Photos, >click to read< 08:14

Fisherman forced deckhand to swim across crocodile-inhabited Queensland river

A Far North Queensland fisherman has denied claims he forced a deckhand to swim across a river known for crocodiles, starved him and locked him in a freezer. Yarn Garrick Ward is on trial at the District Court in Cairns, accused of torturing his former worker, George Jelef, in a remote river system near Karumba in June 2019. Mr Ward has pleaded not guilty. “He said he was going to break my legs … I thought he was going to bash the shit out of me,” Mr Jelef told the court. >click to read< 11:25

Queensland’s scallop industry in doubt

Fisheries Queensland says recent figures show scallop numbers are in serious decline with the biomass, or the amount that can be fished, dropping to 12 per cent of 1977 levels. But Queensland Seafood Industry Association treasurer and scallop fisherman Kevin Reibel said completely closing the fishery would be devastating to south-east Queensland communities. >click to read< 22:00

A “freak wave”,,, Fishing Trawler aground, skipper and two deckhands safe

The skipper of a fishing trawler has been treated for a head injury after his vessel was hit by big waves while trying to navigate the Gold Coast Seaway. The trawler is understood to have lost power and steering as it tried to enter the Seaway just before 1pm on Tuesday. The vessel was then pounded by big waves which have been hitting the Gold Coast all day. >click to read< The crew have described the moment a “freak wave” smashed the boat, shutting down its power and leaving them at the mercy of mother nature. video, photos, >click to read< 08:50

Queensland Government says it’s done enough for the domestic fishing fleet to weather the coronavirus storm

QSIA CEO Eric Perez described the state government’s response as a shameful position, saying commercial fishermen were only asking for a waiver for 12 months, not forever, and it would significantly assist a struggling industry. “The government knows what pressure we’re under,” he said. “Domestic markets have taken a massive hit that we didn’t see coming, because tourists aren’t going to restaurants to eat.” He said the industry wasn’t seeking a handout, rather relief from regulatory fees. “It appears the state government is hesitant to part with $5.1-$5.2 million to help an industry that generates over $350 million to the state economy.” >click to read< 10:07

Queensland: Crab pot pincher nipped with $5000 fine

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the man was caught after Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers began investigating reports of people interfering with commercial crab apparatus in March 2019. “This hard-working commercial crabber has had valuable infrastructure interfered with and lost valuable income from someone stealing his mud crabs,” he said. “People interfering with crab pots is one of the biggest complaints that we get from the public and the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol has been cracking down on it through additional patrols and the use of cameras and drones. Our state’s fisheries resources belong to all Queenslanders and it’s our job to protect fish stocks for the future.” >click to read< 10:19

Coronavirus devastates Bowen’s fishing industry, farmers face uncertain winter

The live coral trout trade, which underpins the fishing sector in the north Queensland town of Bowen, has been shut down since January with dozens of crews out of work and boats for sale. Ben Collison, a 22-year veteran of the Bowen line-fishing industry, said it was the worst he had ever seen the market. “Ninety per cent of the boats — as soon as China stopped, they stopped,” he said. “They all relied on the Chinese market.”,, Adding to the pain for Bowen’s fishermen, prices crashed from $60 per kilogram early in the year to just $17 last week, less than half the break-even price. Retailers suffer,Uncertainty for farmers, >click to read< 11:52

“They Go To Sea”: Local prawn fishermen highlighted in short film

A short film highlighting the life of Queensland’s hard working prawn fishermen has featured Grunske’s By The River owners and their passion for local seafood. Focusing on areas including Bundaberg and Hervey Bay to Townsville and the Gold Coast, the video titled “They Go To Sea” was posted recently by Australian Wild Prawns. Grunske’s By The River has been included in the short film with owner/skipper Paul Grunske stating the hard working fishermen and women he deals with every day was a big part of the success of his business. Video, >click to read< 09:23

Giant Bundaberg prawns bigger than a stubby

They can grow bigger than a stubby and are often mistaken for lobsters but these giant creatures are actually prawns and they’re being caught in waterways around Bundaberg. Photos of leader prawns have been circulating social media, with local fisherman comparing their biggest catches from the Burnett River and ocean surrounding the region. Leader prawns are from the banana or tiger prawn family, so named for their massive size and they role they play in a school of prawns. >click to read<  08:16

Queensland’s commercial fishing industry ‘torn apart’ by government’s green agenda

After 100 years of involvement in all aspects of commercial fisheries management and consultation, QSIA president Keith Harris said they were now being excluded and ignored in matters that affect every part of their lives. He blamed an extreme green and anti-fishing ideology that the government was unable to walk away from and called for the removal of WWF Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society from government working groups. His statements were rejected by Fisheries Minister Mark Furner,,, >click to read< 09:14

Queensland fisheries face tighter regulations? No, They face elimination, which contiues world wide.

New fishing regulations announced by the Queensland Government could seriously harm regional communities, limit the supply of fresh seafood and force long-term fishers out of the industry,,, But the commercial sector said the changes would cripple an industry already struggling under heavy regulation and increasing overhead costs. Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) senior vice president Allan Bobberman said the decision to cut 25 per cent of his allocation in the inshore net fishery was neither justified nor based on science. >click to read< 08:52

Come on Queensland, it’s your future.

Last week the Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) met for their Annual General Meeting in Tin Can Bay.,, It is an industry in turmoil following the recent recommendations proposed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries that the Trawl Fishery be locked into five zones and only by leasing or buying from other operators, can you enter other zones to work.,,, Blindsided by The Hon. Mark Furner,,, While claiming to be effecting reforms proposed by MRAG they are picking the worst bits out and these changes are unprecedented in the history of the industry. >click to read< 16:22

Queensland coroner lashes Fisheries over missing alert after eight die, inquest condemn bureaucrats, urges inflatable vests for fishers

A coroner investigating the deaths of eight men after two trawlers capsized off Queensland has criticised authorities for failing to implement a safety feature to alert police when a boat vanishes. Coroner David O’Connell says the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries should immediately implement the vessel-monitoring-system feature designed to send an SMS or email to police if a boat or ship fails to “poll” on the system, which may indicate it has sunk. >click to read<  Findings from trawler Dianne sinking inquest condemn bureaucrats, urges inflatable vests for fishersVideo, >click to read< 15:34

An explosion of lucrative banana prawns – Flood disaster turns a profit downstream in the Gulf of Carpentaria

Raptis Pearl skipper Mick McGillivray, with one of his deckhands, celebrated the best start to the banana prawn season in the Gulf of Carpentaria since 1974. A two billion dollar damage bill to Queensland graziers, with an AgForce estimate of 664,000 head dead after February floods – the worst since 1974 – has been compensated to some degree by the best start to the banana prawn harvest in the southern end of the Gulf of Carpentaria for decades. Hardest hit areas, like Julia Creek and McKinlay Shire where 274,000 head were lost, drain into the Flinders River which has nourished an explosion of lucrative banana prawns in warm shallow waters just beyond its mouth. >photo’s, click to read<14:03

Overhaul trawler safety, coroner urged

A Queensland coroner is considering the words of the mother of a fisherman lost when a trawler capsized off Queensland who said the crew deserved to have been rescued, not recovered. Coroner David O’Connell has retired to consider his findings after a two week inquest into the deaths of eight men after two fishing vessel tragedies. This week he investigated in Gladstone the deaths of men when the FV Dianne rolled and sank off the Town of 1770 on October 16, 2017. >click to read<10:23

Kitchen freezer could have become a missile as stricken trawler sank

An unsecured kitchen freezer on board a Queensland trawler that sank with the loss of two men could have become a missile inside the stricken vessel as it rolled in rough seas before plummeting to the ocean floor, an inquest has heard. The bodies of skipper Matt Roberts, 61, and crewman David Chivers, 36, have never been found but investigators say it’s likely they were inside the wheelhouse of the FV Cassandra as it rolled in the early hours of April 4, 2016. >click to read>13:02

F/V Dianne Recovery: Specialist teams ready for investigation

THE MV Dianne has now been transferred to dry land. Crews worked for most of today to correctly balance the fishing trawler on to a travelift so it could be moved from the oceanfront of the Bundaberg Port Marina. It is now on land and in a secure location.  The Queensland Fire Service scientific team and urban rescue team will examine the safety of the vessel first thing tomorrow morning before investigations commence. Specialist teams, including a disaster victim identification team, are on standby as part of investigations surrounding the MV Dianne’s tragic sinking in October last year. >click to read< 10:32

Recovered: Sunken fishing trawler Dianne to be lifted on to land

A fishing trawler in which six men died last year will be lifted on to land four months after it sank off the Queensland coast. The FV Dianne was partially raised last Monday, and crews towed it to the Port of Bundaberg on Friday where it will be lifted on to land on Tuesday for further investigation into why it sank. Water will be pumped from the boat as authorities prepare to lift it out, with poor weather hindering several attempts to bring the wreckage to shore. >click to read<23:22

DIANNE RECOVERED: Bodies may be inside ill-fated trawler – >click to read<

Sunken trawler Dianne finally removed from the ocean floor

The fishing vessel Dianne has been partially raised from the sea floor. This afternoon the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service was tasked to search for excess debris from the sunken vessel floating off the coast of Seventeen Seventy. The aerial search was requested after salvage crews managed to partly lift the trawler from her resting place 30m under the sea, where she has been lying since October 16, 2017. Following the partial raising of the Dianne on Monday, the vessel was towed underwater to shallower waters,,, >click to read< 13:17

Mosquito-control spraying questioned after Gulf barramundi fail to spawn for two years

A remote Queensland Gulf community is concerned their local council’s mosquito control program could destroy the local barramundi industry after the hatchery failed to produce spawn for almost two years.,, Local fisherman Mathew Donald is among those concerned about the impacts of mosquito spraying on the fishing and tourism industries across north Queensland.,, Carpentaria Shire Mayor Jack Bawden told the ABC there were two successful spawns around the time the spraying was stopped, which prompted council to further investigate the effects,,, >click to read< 18:51

‘My heart has been broken’: Sole survivor of trawler tragedy which left six fishermen dead breaks his silence

The sole survivor of the Queensland trawler tragedy which left six young fishermen dead has broken his silence in an emotional tribute to his late friends. Ruben McDornan, 32, was one of seven men aboard cucumber trawler Dianne when it capsized in treacherous seas off the town of Seventeen Seventy last month.  The bodies of Adam Hoffman and Ben Leahy were found in the sunken boat five days after the desperate search began. Four men, Adam Bidner, Chris Sammut, Eli Tonks and Zach Feeney, have not been found. click here to read the story 10:58

The Agnes Water/1770 Community Fundraiser for the “Families & Children of FV Dianne”

The Agnes Water/1770 Community has set this fund up on behalf of the families of Cairns based fishermen Adam Bidner, Zachary Feeney, Adam Hoffman, Ben Leahy, Chris Sammut, Eli Tonks and Ruben McDornan  off the fishing vessel “FV Dianne” which tragically sunk during wild storms off the Central Coast of Queensland  last week. Seven families have been affected by this tragedy. Six husbands fathers and sons have been lost in the most tragic of circumstances, with only one survivor who was rescued in tretcherous seas after fighting for his life in the wildest conditions imaginable. The purpose of this fund is to help ease the financial burden that these families have now incurred through this tragedy. click here to donate 11:00

F/V Dianne – Four fishermen still missing after second day of police searches

Police divers have been unable to find any of the four missing crew members after a second day scouring sunken fishing trawler Dianne off the central Queensland coast. Gladstone Patrol Inspector Darren Somerville said divers cleared the vessel and its immediate surroundings of debris but could not find any find any sign of the four fishermen. “Obviously the timeframe for survival expired some time ago, and that timeframe was whether they were in the vessel or even if they were in the water,” he said. click here to read the story 12:03

Sunken fishing trawler Dianne found by searchers off Queensland coast

Police say they have found the commercial fishing trawler Dianne in which six men are believed to have drowned when it sank in heavy seas on Monday night. The sea cucumber fishing boat was detected by sonar about two to three nautical miles off Round Hill Headland, near Seventeen Seventy. Police confirmed the discovery in a statement released just after 6:00pm today. Water Police will remain at the scene overnight and a full recovery operation will commence tomorrow morning. Twelve boats were involved in today’s operation, along with a helicopter and several vehicles that patrolled the shoreline. At least one of the boats was fitted with side scan sonar, using soundwaves to detect any possible man-made items under the water.  click here to read the story 08:36

Reunion for trawler survivor as search moves from rescue to recovery

Ruben McDornan, so far the only survivor from a sunken trawler with seven on board, has had an emotional reunion with his wife and mother at Gladstone Airport, after being plucked from the rough seas by a passing yacht on Tuesday morning. Police have conceded it would be “a miracle” to find any of the other six missing fishermen alive, with the search and rescue moving towards a “recovery” operation on Thursday. “Our thoughts are with the boys missing at the moment because they’re all like family,” Ms McDornan said through tears. click here to read the story 08:54

Families of missing six cling to hope as wild weather hampers search

Hope is fading of finding six men alive after their trawler capsized, with police saying the likelihood of finding them alive is “not looking real promising”. On Wednesday afternoon, police released the identities of all six men who were on board the trawler, named Dianne, adding 34-year-old Chris Sammut and 28-year-old Zach Feeney to the list of known missing men. Skipper Ben Leahy (45) and Cairns men Adam Bidner (33), Adam Hoffman (30) and Eli Tonks (39) had already been named as being on board. The trawler capsized off the central Queensland coast near Middle Island, about 7.30pm Monday.The trawler had been fishing for sea cucumber when it got into trouble off the town of 1770 and sank about five hours later. click here to read the story 08:54

Six fishermen feared dead off trawler screamed from inside boat as crewmate clung to hull

SIX fishermen now feared dead were screaming from ­inside their sinking boat while a crewmate clung to the hull after it capsized off the central Queensland coast. Ruben McDornan survived for 12 hours in heavy seas and before he was plucked to safety after a yacht found him by sheer luck early yesterday. Their boat Dianne overturned near Middle Island, about 20km northeast of the Town of 1770, at 7.30pm on Monday before it sank about midnight. click here to read the story 08:24

Police to resume search for crew of sunken trawlerclick here to read the story 17:31

Why did a trawler run aground on Lady Musgrave Island?

Marine authorities are investigating what caused a 50m fishing trawler to run aground on Lady Musgrave Island on Friday. Two men and a dog were forced to spend the night on board the stricken ship after an initial attempt to free themselves failed when their anchor line and boom broke. Mana is a Bundaberg-based fishing trawler. They were retrieved by crew from a passing boat on Saturday. The vessel remains grounded in the intertidal zone on the south side of the island, between the low and high water marks. click here to read the story 12:39

White Spot: Government has abandoned wild-caught prawn fishermen

THE $20 million in federal funding for prawn farmers affected by white spot is a great day for some and not so great for others if you are a commercial fishing business owner in the Moreton Bay region. There are some 300 micro and small fishing related businesses across the Moreton Bay region, including trawl and crab fishers, impacted by white spot that continue to be impacted in the wild and an ongoing movement control order on our commercial product. These businesses generate almost $20.5 million yet have received no assistance. At least 20 businesses have had their incomes severely impacted since December 2016 and still no help. The Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce announced the Federal Government will give $20 million to prawn farmers impacted by white spot but said wild-catch fishermen are the responsibility of the State Government. click here to read the story 18:17