COURT: A visitor navigates the Coloured Sands at Rainbow Beach, where a shark netting contractor has been charged with Fisheries Act offences.
COURT: A visitor navigates the Coloured Sands at Rainbow Beach, where a shark netting contractor has been charged with Fisheries Act offences. CONTRIBUTED

Rainbow Beach shark contractor remanded

A RAINBOW Beach shark netting contractor has stepped aside from his role while he faces eight fisheries charges, believed to include unauthorised shark fin possession matters.

Gregory Bruce Pearce, 39, appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday on charges which followed a Fisheries Department raid on a Rainbow Beach property in June last year.

The charges against Mr Pearce were adjourned to December 21.

They include allegations of Fisheries Act offences last year on April 6, between May 5 and 10, on or about May 12, May 21 and August 17.

A Fisheries Queensland spokesperson said the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol had started an investigation in June 2016 into alleged illegal fishing activities involving a Shark Control Program contractor at Rainbow Beach.

The department started legal proceedings with a complaint and summons filed on August 16 this year.

The court was told a further charge involving allegations from 2015 had been withdrawn.

"On August 8, the contractor voluntarily agreed to cease operating the contract for the Shark Control Program at Rainbow Beach pending legal proceedings,” a Department of Agriculture and Fisheries spokesperson said yesterday.

"The Shark Control Program at Rainbow Beach is continuing to operate and is being serviced by the Sunshine Coast-based contractor.”

It has previously been acknowledged that raids in 2016 resulted in the seizure of four sets of shark fins found in a freezer on one property.

No further comment was available.