FACING COURT: Wally Keating, of Sarina. The 78 year old has been a fisherman for more than 60 years.
FACING COURT: Wally Keating, of Sarina. The 78 year old has been a fisherman for more than 60 years. Rainee Shepperson

Sarina fisherman in hot water over log book

A SARINA fisherman accused of failing to properly fill out his log books claims "they've been irrelevant for decades”.

Wally Keating, who has been a professional fisherman for more than 60 years, is facing 21 counts of failure to comply with a Department of Fisheries information requirement.

The case was briefly mentioned in Sarina Magistrates Court yesterday and adjourned until June 10.

Speaking to the Daily Mercury outside court, Mr Keating said the department had never cared about log books until now.

"They've been irrelevant for decades,” he said. "You could write down anything you wanted, the department wouldn't check it against the catch.

"Only now has it become an issue.”

Mr Keating said in the first 40 years of his career he was never issued a fine, but had now clocked up nine.

He said there was a lot wrong with the industry and how it was policed, such as fishermen leaving their crab pots in a creek with no bait while they fished a different area.

"Some fishermen will leave their crab pots in the creek for months, which I think is wrong,” Mr Keating said.

"Jellyfish and crabs might go into the pots and die because of the tides and the hot sun.”

He said pots should be removed after two weeks.