Fined for fishing outside zone

Officers escort people in breach of abalone fishing rules.       
Officers escort people in breach of abalone fishing rules.       

TWO men will be fined $400 each for abalone fishing at Yanchep Lagoon outside the designated fishing periods this month.

Todd A’Vard, the Fisheries Department’s north metropolitan compliance manager, said fisheries and marine officers, tipped off by surf lifesavers, caught the two men at Yanchep about 11.20am on December 13.

“They had jointly taken 16 Roe’s abalone from the reef at Yanchep lagoon,” he said.

“Both will be receiving $400 infringements for fishing for Roe’s abalone in abalone zone 1 during the closed season.”

Officers have issued several infringements and warnings over the first two abalone fishing days this season, including eight infringements for bag limit offences on November 1.

During that first one-hour session, they also issued 46 warnings, half for bag limit offences and half for fishing totally protected or undersized abalone.

Results collated so far from the December 6 session included 11 infringements and 33 warnings.

Mr A’Vard said the main offence this season had been exceeding the bag limit.

“There are a number of pending prosecutions relating to obstruction for the second day of fishing,” he said.

“We urge people to be familiar with the abalone fishing rules as we continue to encounter people fishing for others, the example being one person in the water and one on the beach waiting and the fisher taking two bag limits.

“People can only fish for themselves and they must have a licence to take abalone.”

Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club president John Heesters said about 85 people were on the reef during the December 6 abalone fishing hour. He said volunteer lifesavers did about 30 prevention actions and one rescue that day.

The next abalone fishing period is January 3 from 7am to 8am.