Three men will receive infringement notices totalling more than $5000 after Fisheries Investigators allegedly found them with 50 abalone, more than three times their combined daily bag limit.
Victorian Fisheries Authority Director of Education and Enforcement, Ian Parks, said the trio were observed at Port Fairy, near Warrnambool in the state’s south-west.
“The divers were seen multi-tripping, making repeated fishing trips to one or more areas in one day, taking abalone each time but never exceeding the daily limit at any one spot,” Mr Parks said.
“The three men were also using lookouts with hand-held radios along the shoreline, who were in contact with further lookouts in the Griffith Island car park.
“After observing the suspicious behaviour, officers intercepted the group at a barbecue area, where a bag allegedly containing 35 abalone was located.
“Another bag allegedly containing 15 more abalone was found inside a vehicle nearby.
“Of the 50 abalone, 47 were undersize.”
The three men will receive infringement notices for taking undersize abalone, taking more than twice the catch limit and failing to have an abalone measuring device.
Fisheries Investigators would like to acknowledge that most abalone fishers inspected on Christmas and Boxing days were doing the right thing, abiding by the rules, taking no more than their personal bag limit and measuring their catch correctly.
Mr Parks urged fishers to double check abalone size limits, which vary along the coast.
“The minimum size changes depending on where you’re fishing, as does the species of abalone that can be taken.”
If you see or suspect illegal fishing, please call our 24/7 reporting hotline, 13 FISH (13 3474). You can remain anonymous. Make the call and make the difference!