Monitoring and reporting illegal fishing

Commercial and recreational fishers are expected to be aware of the laws in place that protect and promote the safe and sustainable use of our waterways.

The Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) is the body that enforces these laws through surveillance, inspections, industry education and community group liaison.

The QBFP ensure commercial and recreational fishers (along with the general community) are informed about boat safety while also monitoring licence renewals, regulation changes, catch inspections and fishing gear.

The primary role of the QBFP is to investigate alleged infringements, enforce the law to protect our waterways, and maintain fisheries resources to provide a sustainable future for the industry.

The Fishwatch hotline (1800 017 116) is a QBFP initiative you can utilise to report unlawful fishing activities 24-hours a day. The hotline was created to provide you with a direct channel to the QBFP to follow up on your report.

The activities the QBFP request you to report include:

  • unlawful use of nets
  • fishing in closed waters
  • fishing in closed seasons
  • taking female crabs (Jennies)
  • taking undersize fish
  • taking excess to possession limits on fish
  • using excess crab pots/dillies
  • destroying or disturbing marine habitats
  • interfering with people’s fishing equipment
  • taking oysters from licensed areas.

When making a report to the Fishwatch hotline you should record and pass on:

  • the date, time and area the infringement was witnessed
  • vehicle or boat registration numbers and a description
  • personal details if the offender is known
  • an accurate description of the illegal activity.

There are also local patrol offices throughout Queensland (as well as inland at the Gulf of Carpentaria) to assist you with any queries or sightings you may have witnessed.

Queensland Boating & Fisheries Patrol office locations


Airlie Beach (also services Bowen)

(07) 4946 7003

Bundaberg (also services Gladstone)

(07) 4131 2365

Cairns (also services Thursday Island)

(07) 4035 0700

Gold Coast

(07) 5583 5500

Hervey Bay

(07) 4125 3989


(07) 4776 1611


(07) 4745 9142


(07) 4160 0700


(+61) 427 722 208 (mobile)


(07) 4967 0724


(07) 5444 4599


(07) 5449 7555

Pinkenba (also services Brisbane)

(07) 3330 4210

Port Douglas

(07) 4099 5160


(07) 3824 9545


(07) 4772 7311


(07) 4660 3666


(07) 4069 8114

Yeppoon (also services Gladstone)

(07) 4991 5105