Home State Men facing charges over illegal abalone haul

Men facing charges over illegal abalone haul

Photo: Supplied.

Three men have been found to be illegally in possession of 312 abalone on Saturday in Iluka.

The 312 Roe’s abalone and the trio’s fishing gear have been seized.

Fisheries and Marine Officers working on Operation Clearview apprehended two males, aged 51 and 59, from Osborne Park and a 35-year-old from Girrawheen.

The men had allegedly gathered their illegal haul of abalone from a reef platform at Iluka.

The men face several charges and, if found guilty, are likely to be issued with significant fines under Section 222 of the Fish Resources Management Act.

The mandatory penalty is based on ten times the value of the catch and for abalone that is $30 each, which is equal to $9,360 for the 312 abalone.

The men were caught out by
Operation Clearview, a task force that targets the illegal take and sale of abalone in Perth.

Officers have been keeping a close watch on the Metropolitan coast this abalone season.

Supervising Fisheries and Marine Officer Cameron Dawes-Smith said Perth’s abalone fishery was extremely precious and illegal activity could put it at serious risk.

“To ensure abalone is here for future generations, there are strict rules,” Mr Dawes-Smith said.

“Serious offences, like trafficking of abalone, could attract fines of up to $400,000 and four years’ imprisonment for offenders, as well as forfeiture of vessels, vehicles and equipment,” He said.

The West Coast Zone between Busselton Jetty and Moore Rive can only be fished in four one hour sessions each season and fishers must be licensed.

WA’s fishing rules and limits are available online at www.fish.wa.gov.auwebsite and in the Recreational fishing guide; or see the specific Abalone recreational fishing guide.

Report any suspicious activity involving fish or fishing to Fisheries officers by calling FishWatch on ‪1800 815 507‬.