A man caught tampering with a crocodile trap in Port Douglas last October was fined $1800 in the Caboolture Magistrates Court last month, after pleading guilty to four offences.
A conviction was recorded.
Queensland Environment Minister, Leeanne Enoch, thanked Queensland Police and wildlife officers for their investigating efforts.
The man had been photographed climbing in and around a trap that had been deployed to remove a problem crocodile sighted in the Dickson’s Inlet area at Port Douglas.
Ms Enoch said the man’s behaviour was dangerous.
“These traps are specifically designed to attract crocodiles and they are deployed in places where a problem crocodile is known to be present,” she said.
“It is extremely dangerous to interfere with a crocodile trap, regardless of whether or not there is a crocodile inside.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that interfering with crocodile traps is potentially life-threatening.
“It also places the general public at risk if the trap is tampered with in such a way that the trap no longer works, which hampers the ability of the Department of Environment and Science to deliver its important public safety role.”
She said the outcome of the investigation was a reminder to everyone that tampering with croc traps is not only dangerous but illegal.
“It should go without saying that if a crocodile trap has been deployed it is because there is a crocodile in the vicinity that needs to be removed, so the best advice would be to leave the trap alone and exercise Crocwise behaviour.”
Being Crocwise includes:
- Expect crocodiles in ALL northern Queensland waterways even if there is no warning sign
- Obey all warning signs – they are there to keep you safe
- Be aware crocs also swim in the ocean and be extra cautious around water at night
- Stand back from the water’s edge when fishing and don’t wade in to retrieve a lure
- Camp at least 50 metres from the edge of the water
- Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near water, camp site or boat ramp
- Never provoke, harass or feed crocs
Anyone who sees a crocodile should report the sighting to the Department of Environment and Science on 1300 130 372.
The department investigates all crocodile reports it receives.