In the continuing saga of the shooting of 2,000
birds on a Cowley Beach barramundi farm, two men were fined a total of more than
$32,000 on November 6th. The two men appeared in the Innisfail Magistrate's
Court on charges under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 for taking protected
animals without authority.
In October the same company and
it's director were ordered to pay $285,000 in fines and research costs to
improve bird management systems on the farm.
A fellow employee had
been tried in Cairns Magistrate's Court on July 16th only to be given a one
months suspended sentence. I reported this on Birding-aus a week later and many
subscribers responded individually and/or representing Birds Australia in
writing to Queensland Government Ministers and the State Premier. It appears
that this time pressure was indeed brought to bear on the judiciary from above.
The response of birders cannot be gauged however the outcome has been
This case will require care to
be taken in the entire aquaculture industry with regard to birdlife. Locally
many barramundi farms recognise that raptors in particular perform a
service for them in scavenging the odd fish that floats to the surface`which in
turn helps to keep their ponds clean.
It's possible that others
are yet to appear in court relating to the same incident. I'll keep subscribers
Del. Richards, Fine Feather
Tours, Mossman, NQ.