Rogue abalone fisherman caught with massive out-of-season haul

Rogue abalone fisherman caught with massive out-of-season haul

A GIRRAWHEEN man allegedly took more than 250 Roe’s abalone outside of season in the Watermans area just before New Year.

The bag limit for a day’s recreational abalone fishing when in season is 15.

A Department of Fisheries media release said officers would look to prosecute the 45-year-old man under trafficking laws that carry fines up to $400,000 and a maximum prison term of four years.

North Metropolitan compliance manager Todd A’Vard alleged the accused gathered 255 abalone while fishing the pre-dawn hours “under the cover of darkness”.

“Fishers can expect to be under surveillance,” he said.

“We are calling out to the community, particularly those people who live, work or engage in recreational activities along the coast, to keep a watch out for suspicious activities.

“Illegal abalone fishers are likely to have bags, gloves and screwdrivers, and may also have wetsuits and other dive gear.

“They will operate in the shallows, on the reefs where abalone are found – either wading, snorkelling or diving for the abalone – night or day.”

The third round of the abalone season begins on Sunday, with fishers able to gather the delicacy from 7am to 8am in approved areas such as the Marmion Marine Park.

Call FishWatch on 1800 815 507 to report illegal fishing.