Barramundi farm employees fined $16,000 each!

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Barramundi farm employees fined $16,000 each!
From: "Del Richards" <>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 17:18:56 +1000
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 pleasing.
    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 posted.
    Del. Richards, Fine Feather Tours, Mossman, NQ.
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