Four sets of shark fins were found in a freezer at one property.
Four sets of shark fins were found in a freezer at one property. EPA

Shark fins seized in Rainbow Beach raids

FISHERIES Queensland has launched an investigation after search warrants were executed at a number of premises at Rainbow Beach last week.

A range of items including shark fins were seized.

"The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been laid in relation to this matter,'' a fisheries spokesperson said.

The department would not confirm reports a Queensland Government contractor was one of those involved.

"Shark finning is illegal in Queensland and strict rules are in place to provide protection to breeding adults and discourage any potential for black marketing of shark and their fins,'' the spokesperson said.

In response to questions from the Sunshine Coast Daily the department said the practice of finning sharks and dumping their bodies at sea was illegal in Queensland and severe court penalties in excess of $100,000 could be imposed.

"Under Queensland legislation, anyone taking a shark fin must also retain the body of the shark whilst at sea. These rules are in place to act as a deterrent to targeting these animals for their fins alone,'' the spokesperson said.

"The prohibition on shark finning is a key component of measures that aim to deliver sustainable management of shark."

The Sunshine Coast Daily understands four sets of shark fins were found in a freezer at one property after the Department of Fisheries received reports of the jaws of the endangered great white shark being present at one of the properties. No great white jaws were found in the raids.

It is understood investigations are also ongoing into other matters relating to illegal fishing.

One Rainbow Beach resident said it had been possible to see from the street shark jaws hanging from the wall of one of the properties subject to the raids.

"You would expect this from a Third World country,'' he said.

"We are selling nature here. This is selling out.''