More fines for illegal abalone

NSW court fines repeat offender $17,000

NSW courts continue to issue heavy fines to illegal fishers, Industry & Investment NSW’s special operations manager, Tony Andrews, said today.

"In three recent cases, six men have been ordered to pay a total of $ 37,780 in fishing fines, after being apprehended by Industry & Investment (I&I) NSW fisheries officers, for fishing illegally," Andrews said.

"In one such matter, a 24 year old man from Shellharbour was fined almost $17,000 in fines and court costs, after being spotted diving near Boat Harbour in Gerringong, on the NSW South Coast in February 2007.

"The man, who had previously been successfully prosecuted for similar offences, was found to be in possession of 33 shucked (shelled) abalone and one whole abalone.

"In Wollongong local lourt in September he was found guilty of possessing abalone taken contrary to a fishing closure, possessing more than the maximum quantity of abalone, and possessing shucked abalone adjacent to waters.

"He was also fined for not having a recreational fishing licence."

In another case, a 29 year old Gerringong man was ordered to pay more than $8,500 in fines and professional costs, after being found guilty of possessing more than the maximum quantity of abalone, obstructing a fisheries officer, and failing to pay the recreational fishing fee, for offences which occurred at South Werri Beach on the south coast in February 2007.

And four men, aged between 22 and 26, have been ordered to pay over $12,000 in fines and professional costs after appearing in Toronto local court, after being found guilty of a number of fishing offences at the Eraring Power Station hot water outlet, on the NSW Central Coast in June 2007.

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