Two men from Sunshine West are facing serious charges after being arrested by Fisheries Officers allegedly in possession of a commercial quantity of abalone.
Victorian Fisheries Authority Director of Education and Enforcement Ian Parks said the men were arrested on Saturday afternoon, allegedly in possession of 232 abalone of which 173 were found to be markedly undersized.
“The daily bag limit for abalone is 5 per person,” Mr Parks said.
“On Saturday afternoon, Fisheries Officers observed two males arriving at the reef area of Altona Beach with dive equipment.”
“Fisheries Officers maintained covert surveillance on the area for around two hours, later arresting the males just before they left in a vehicle that had been circling the area.”
“The offenders are expected to be charged on summons with numerous fisheries offences including, take and possess a commercial quantity of abalone of which the penalty is up to 5 years’ imprisonment.”
“Fisheries Officers did return the abalone to Port Phillip Bay but unfortunately most were dead when placed back into the water.”
Mr Parks emphasised that the Victorian Fisheries Authority is committed to detecting, disrupting and dismantling serious and organised fisheries offenders having the greatest impact on the sustainability of the resource.
“We know most people do the right thing when it comes to enjoying Victoria’s fisheries, but it only takes a few wrongdoers to have a serious impact.”
To report suspicious or illegal fishing activity call 13FISH (133474) anytime. You can remain anonymous. Make the call and make the difference.