By Naomi Hockins
Sandstone Point resident Steve Gregory has had enough of people taking more than their fair share of shellfish.
A few weeks ago, Mr Gregory stood up to yet another group of about 15 people he saw poaching much more shellfish than their legally allowable amount.
"They decimate the 600m-long beach in front of us each year," he said, detailing that it had happened every weekend at low tide for the past three-and-a-half years.
"The guys could only just carry the bags; they had those big white buckets full of (shellfish). I was just trying to do the right thing."
He said his warnings that what the group were doing was illegal and that they should return the items were met with hostility.
He said he began filming them, to give to the Fisheries department, and the situation escalated.
"They refused to put everything back," he said, adding that they would only tip out two bucketfuls, of an estimated 10-15kg.
Mr Gregory called Fishwatch and said two Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers came to find out more and were currently following up the case.
"In the Moreton Bay region, the highest volume of complaints received by the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol relate to possession limit non-compliance and crab pot interference," a QBFP officer said.
"It is essential that everyone follows fishing rules, as any illegal fishing reduces the capacity of the fishery to meet community needs, both recreationally and commercially."
He said QBFP rely on the ongoing support of the community to provide relevant and timely information relating to suspected illegal fishing to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.
"If an area emerges as a hotspot for complaints of illegal fishing, QBFP can target its resources to that area," he said.
For the most up-to-date fishing rules, visit www. fisheries.qld.gov.au or phone 13 25 23.