Big fine for illegal abalone haul

Perth man fined for exceeding bag limit after claiming he would return excess catch

A Perth Magistrates Court has fined a 49 year old Perth man more than $4,100 after finding him guilty of having more than the possession limit of abalone.

The man was apprehended by Fisheries and Marine Officers in November last year after being observed coming ashore with a member of his family at Mettams Pool, in Trigg. Fisheries officers counted a total of 90 Roe’s abalone in his possession.

North Metro compliance manager for the Department of Fisheries, Todd A’Vard, said the man had told the officers he was going to keep 40 abalone for himself and his family member and put the excess back.

"This is not acceptable," said A’Vard. "Once abalone are levered from the reef they are on and removed, they rarely survive if they are thrown back," he said.

"You cannot fish for someone else’s bag limit, which is 20 per day, per fisher. It is an offence to bring more than your bag limit ashore."

A’Vard said the fine was a timely warning for all abalone fishers, ahead of the new season that begins in the West Coast Zone on November 1 (this Sunday). The West Coast abalone zone extends from the Busselton Jetty to the Greenough River mouth.

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