A Point Cook (Vic) man has been fined $4,000 and banned from collecting abalone for two years after being convicted for a number of offences relating to the collection of blacklip abalone on Phillip Island in February.
Central Acting Regional Supervising Fisheries Officer Mark Gibson said the man was convicted in the Korumburra Magistrates Court earlier this month and the large penalties reflected the seriousness of illegally collecting abalone.
Mr Gibson said the 42-year-old man was caught collecting the molluscs at Pyramid Rock, Phillip Island, where he breached a number of fisheries regulations.
The man had collected 29 blacklip abalone, which is nearly six times the daily limit of five. Nineteen of the abalone were under the legal minimum size of 11cm for that area. A quantity had also been removed from their shells, also illegal under the Fisheries Act, which prohibits shucking abalone, or being in possession of shucked abalone, on or near Victorian waters.
Fishers may only shuck abalone at the place of consumption.
“The abalone were also taken from a shallow rock pool less than two metres deep, which is classified as the intertidal zone and protected from all mollusc collection, including abalone,” Mr Gibson said.
“The regulations relating to the collection of abalone are in place for a very good reason and the penalties demonstrate just how important it is to obey the regulations and help protect Victorian fisheries.”
The Magistrate noted the man should have known better and when interviewed by Fisheries Officers he acknowledged what he was doing was wrong.
He was convicted and fined $4,000 and also issued with a court order prohibiting him from possessing any abalone or being involved with fishing activity relating to abalone for two years.
Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing activity should phone the 24-hour reporting line 13 FISH (13 3474) anytime.
For more information about abalone regulations visit www.vic.gov.au/fisheries
News article written by Shipmate