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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

​   Know the rules where you fish

Tuesday 10 March 2020

Four men ordered to pay $40,000 plus for abalone fishing offences

​A plan to illegally take abalone off the reefs at Iluka Beach, in Perth’s northern suburbs, late on a Thursday afternoon in January last year failed, because the two fishers and two other men watching over them were about to be busted by fisheries compliance officers.

One of the men was not only involved in fishing out of season on that day, but subsequent investigations by the officers revealed that the 34 year-old from Redcliffe had also fished out of season for abalone around 4.30pm on Saturday 29 December 2018.

When the four men were together on 24 January, 2019, they were apprehended by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) officers in the Iluka Foreshore Park as the offenders were returning to their vehicle.

Joondalup Court heard on Friday (6 March) the DPIRD officers had inspected a sports bag, which was found to contain eight zip lock bags holding a total of 335 shucked Roe’s abalone. The sports bag, fishing equipment, mobile phones and the abalone were seized on the day.


 The 335 Roe's abalone were seized at Iluka Beach in January 2019

The court also heard that all co-accused had participated in video records of interview and full admissions were made by all four men in regards to take, possession, knowledge and control of the abalone. It’s also an offence to shuck abalone within 200 metres of the high water mark, unless authorised by a managed fishery licence.

For three offences, the 34 year-old Redcliffe man will have to pay fines, penalties and court costs totalling $12,540.90, a 20 year-old man from Redcliffe (who faced two charges) was ordered to pay $11,540.90, a third offender from Redcliffe (aged 38) must shell out $8,375.90 for joint possession of the abalone, as will a 57-year-old man from Cranbourne East in Victoria.

Manager Regional Compliance Metro for DPIRD Todd A’Vard said these fines provided a significant message to deter others who might fish for abalone out of season.

“All-up, the men have collectively been ordered to pay $40,833.60 and, in addition to that, they’ve all been prohibited by the court from fishing for or being in possession of abalone for two years,” Mr A’Vard said.

“The case also delivers a reminder on not shucking abalone at sea or on land within 200 metres of the high water mark. Within that zone abalone should remain in their shells – in order for DPIRD compliance officers to be able to measure and check they’re not under legal size.”        

No recreational abalone fishing is allowed in Western Australia at present, except in the Southern Zone, which runs from the Busselton Jetty to the South Australian border, and fishing in that zone can continue daily until the Zone 3 season concludes on 15 May.  

There’s more on the recreational rules in the Abalone fishing guide at www.fish.wa.gov.au.

Last modified: 17/03/2020 1:35 PM

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