Aussies have slammed authorities and called the country a ‘nanny state’ after a fisherman was fined $431 for hand-feeding a wild dolphin.
Footage of the ‘illegal interaction’ shows a man out on the water in Tin Can Bay in southeast Queensland gently feeding the dolphin chunks of cut up fish.
But after the video was posted online local wildlife rangers contacted the fisherman in the footage to slap them with the fine.
The vision shows the dolphin hovering in the waters around the boat while as the sea creature keeps coming back for more.
Tina Ball from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service said an investigation was set up after the video came to light showing the dolphin approaching the boat.
‘We contacted the people in the video, one feeding the dolphin and one videoing the interaction,’ the senior wildlife officer told ABC.
‘They admitted that they fed the dolphin and didn’t realise it was an offence to do so.
‘They’ve been issued a penalty infringement notice which is more lenient than going to court where a maximum court prosecution could be $11,000.’
Ms Ball said skippers should keep a 150metre distance from the front and back end of dolphin pods and 50metres from the side of a pod.
He is seen hand-feeding the dolphin from the fishing boat as the sea creature keeps coming back for more (pictured)
If a dolphin approaches a boat people should disengage the gears or move away from them at a speed of six knots.
She said the laws are in place to safeguard the popular sea mammals from disease and injury, adding they can get sick if they eat un-fresh fish.
It can also affect their natural feeding behaviours and how they interact in their pods while pneumonic diseases can also be passed onto them by humans.
Interactions with people on boats can also put them at risk of getting hit by boats or being entangled by fishing lines.
Ms Ball said there has been an increase in illegal interaction activity in the Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach areas which authorities have been zeroing in on.
‘Don’t feed a Dolphin otherwise you get fined, steal multiple cars and burn them out and get away with it over and over again. [Palaszczuk] and her laws are a joke,’ said one online user.
‘Red tape, wildlife rangers have nothing else to do but to annoy people,’ wrote another.
‘Why don’t they put more rangers out stopping people letting their dogs off leashes where it’s illegal. Tons of kids and other dogs bitten every year,’ said a third.
‘Australia is a nanny state,’ another said.
This article by Jade Hobman and Ashlea Knickel was first published by The Daily Mail on 13 April 2023. Lead Image: He is seen hand-feeding the dolphin from the fishing boat as the sea creature keeps coming back for more (pictured).
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