A Redland Bay man who has seen his once secluded fishing spot turn into a hotspot for illegal crabbing has taken matters into his own hands.
Gavin, also known as "Crabman", knew that something had to be done. That something, he decided, was the creation of Crab Watch QLD, a Facebook group that reports, names and shames those who go against the rules of crab fishing.
Since its beginnings in November 2014 the page has connected almost 1,000 crab enthusiasts with each other, producing a space for knowledge sharing, finger pointing and countless images of proud crab catches.
Crabman says the page gives a voice to those who have seen firsthand people ignoring the regulations of crab size, sex and amount caught, that most crab lovers take very seriously.
"Crabman is just the voice of a lot of people who have identified a problem in our fishing community," Crabman said.
"It is a way for me to document problems in the crab community and to create greater community awareness for those who don't understand the rules or who choose to remain ignorant."
Fisheries Queensland, while having no direct affiliation with the Facebook group, says community groups are integral in terms of relaying information quickly and efficiently.
"Queensland Boating and Fishing Patrol rely on the ongoing support of the community to provide relevant and timely information relating to potential offences concerning our valuable fishery resources," a Fisheries Queensland spokesperson said.
However, they say past investigations have been compromised as a result of interference from individuals and warn crab enthusiasts not to take direct action when witnessing illegal activities.
"We do not support or encourage individuals or community groups to interfere with suspected illegal fishing activities in a regulatory capacity," Fisheries Queensland said.
"People can assist investigations by providing specific details of the alleged offences every time they are observed."