Amity patrols stepped up after dolphin snared

THE state government has stepped up patrols of North Stradbroke Island's Amity Point jetty after a dolphin got hooked on a fishing line over the Christmas break.

An Environment Department spokesperson said a young fisherman caught the dolphin by mistake after snaring another fish.

The dolphin was not injured and was freed from the line and not brought ashore.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will not take action against the fisherman and said it was not the first time dolphins were reported trying to take bait and grab fish off lines at Amity.

Officers will patrol the Straddie foreshore and jetty areas to advise people of the repercussions of hand-feeding dolphins and using baited lines in areas frequented by dolphins.

A department spokesman said it was important dolphins were not fed outside authorised dolphin feeding programs.

"Unregulated feeding can lead to health and behavioural issues, such as dependence on humans for food, an increased risk of boat strike, entanglement in fishing line and ingestion of hooks and lures as dolphins approach humans and boats which they associate with food, and decreased maternal care of calves."

Fishing for dolphins is illegal under the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006, which protects all marine mammals.

There is a $353 fine for feeding dolphins outside authorised areas and the maximum penalty for breaching the Act is $9424.

Signs at Amity Point foreshore advise people to not feed dolphins and outline penalties for non-compliance. 

Unfortunately, the state government patrols did not extend to repairing the bottom step of the Amity jetty, which has rusted away despite piecemeal repair work in September.


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