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Authorities crackdown as illegal reef fishing rises

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Illegal fishing on the Great Barrier Reef has increased to the highest annual number on record, so authorities will be cracking down these school holidays.

The Great Barrier Marine Park Authority reported an 11 per cent increase in offences on the World Heritage Area from the same period last year.

Joint Field Management Program director Chris Cochrane said good weather, cheaper fuel costs and restrictions on other recreational activity drove these increased infringements.

Joint Field Management Program director Chris Cochrane said good weather, cheaper fuel costs and restrictions on other recreational activity drove these increased infringements.

"We've seen unprecedented recreational fishing use in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area due to weather and other social changes and, unfortunately, also the highest number of illegal fishing offences," he said.

"We know at least 704 people visited the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area either without adequate information on the rules or with an assumption they could avoid our patrols when, in fact, there is more information and more patrols in place than ever."

Locals have being urged to download the 'Eye on the Reef' app to know where you can fish, and the rules that apply.