Concealed abalone leads to 26 charges
January 3, 2023 / 11:13 pm
Two people have been charged after allegedly catching more than ten times the legal abalone bag limit.
The man and woman were subject to a routine search by Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) officers patrolling on jet skis
Initially the pair allegedly only showed officers ten abalone they claimed were from an earlier dive.
Director of Education and Enforcement at the Victorian Fisheries Authority Ian Parks said officers boarded an aluminium boat in which a man and woman appeared to be fishing for whiting with rod and line, and a subsequent search found the hidden creatures
“A search of the boat allegedly revealed two intricate concealments of more abalone onboard, the first containing 71 freshly shucked (removed from shell) and 18 whole abalone.
“The second concealment allegedly contained 17 whole abalone, making a total of 116 including the 10 abalone initially presented to officers.
“The pair were escorted back to the Werribee boat ramp where they had launched and the dive gear, catch and boat, estimated to be worth around $50,000, were seized by Fisheries Officers on the spot. All the whole abalone were returned to the water alive.”
The duo were charged with a number of offences including exceeding the daily bag limit for abalone, possession of a commercial quantity of abalone, concealing fish taken in contravention of the Fisheries Act, possessing shucked abalone on Victorian waters, and hindering and obstructing Fisheries Officers.
If you see or suspect illegal fishing, you can call the VFA’s 24/7 reporting service, 13FISH (133474), to speak directly to a Fisheries Officer.
You can remain anonymous. Make the call and make the difference.
Image: The boat seized by VFA [supplied]