Commercial fisher ‘ignorantly’ entered prohibited GBR zone
A COMMERCIAL fisherman's entry into a protected Great Barrier Reef zone was due to "ignorance", a court has heard.
Randall Brett Crossley entered a guilty plea in Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday to engage in conduct in a zone/under zoning plan that is prohibited/ requires permission.
The court heard Crossley travelled 522m into the zone and was travelling through water that was 70m deep at that point.
Defence lawyer Jason Jacobson said his client, a 45-year-old based on the Gold Coast, had taken part in an interview with investigators where he "confessed to his ignorance".
"If he was aware, he would have steered clear of the zone," he said.
Mr Jacobson told the court Crossley only travelled to the jurisdiction where this offence occurred once a year.
He submitted documents outlining his client's very significant drop in income from last year to this year, along with his blue card and his authority to be a foster carer.
Magistrate Bevan Manthey said Crossley was obviously a "man of good character", noting his lack of criminal history.
Mr Manthey noted in the legislation the main objective was to provide long-term protection to conservation of environmental heritage of the Great Barrier Reef.
Crossley was fined $1500 and ordered to pay $101.80 cost to the court. A conviction was recorded.