Abalone fishing fine

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
The Illegal abalone haul, which lead to fines, penalties and costs totalling $11,355.90
Camera IconThe Illegal abalone haul, which lead to fines, penalties and costs totalling $11,355.90

A trip to fish for abalone at Sugarloaf Rock last December had a significant sequel this week when a 51-year-old woman was fined $11,355.90.

Compliance officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development were conducting targeted surveillance in Dunsborough on Sunday December 15, when the fisher from Perth took 107 abalone from a reef.

84 of the abalone were found to be undersize, when the woman was later apprehended.

In Busselton Magistrates Court on Tuesday the woman was fined $3,000 for each of the charges, which were related to exceeding the daily bag limit as well as being in possession of undersize Roe’s abalone.

The court was told the undersized abalone ranged in size from 32mm to 59.4mms, the minimum size limit for Roe’s abalone is 60mm.

A mandatory penalty of $2,610 applied to the 87 excess abalone above the Southern Zone’s daily bag limit of 20 abalone per licensed fisher. A $2,520 mandatory penalty for the undersize abalone that were taken was also applied, along with court costs of $225.90.

Busselton DPIRD supervising fisheries compliance officer Kevin Johnson said the fines provided a strong message to deter illegal abalone fishing.

“The Southern Zone extends from Busselton Jetty to the South Australian border and can be fished each day between October 1 and May 15 the following year,” Mr Johnson said.

“With the closed season approaching, we remind recreational fishers that compliance patrols will continue, to ensure nobody is fishing for abalone out of season.

“The obligation for fishers is to know the rules and we urge members of the community to report any kind of suspected illegal fishing activity to FishWatch.”

Reports to FishWatch are treated in the strictest of confidence and you would be assisting in protecting WA's fish resources for future generations. Contact the FishWatch reporting line on 1800 815 507

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