A 32-year-old abalone fisher from Sydney stands to lose more than his seafood after being caught at Merimbula with 17.8 kilograms in excess of his quota.
An end of abalone season quota compliance operation has resulted in the apprehension and pending prosecution of a NSW licensed abalone fisher, Department of Primary Industries (DPI) director fisheries compliance, Glenn Tritton, has said.
The NSW Abalone fishery is a strictly managed quota fishery,” Mr Tritton said.
“It is alleged that the fisher, a 32-year-old man from Sydney, landed 17.8 kilograms of live abalone in excess of his quota allocation when he was checked by fisheries officers in Merimbula in December.
“It is also alleged that the fisher failed to comply with hanging (storing the abalone at sea in containers) requirements and entered false and misleading information into his daily log book.
“The man will be charged with offences under the Fisheries Management (Abalone Share Management Plan) Regulation 2000, including contravene quota, provide false misleading information and fail to record hanging details in logbook.
“Each offence is an endorsement holder offence and carry a maximum penalty of $11,000.”
The abalone and the catch and effort logbook were seized by fisheries officers.
The recreational possession limit for abalone in NSW is two per person and the minimum prescribed legal length is 11.7cm.
“Abalone is listed as a priority species under the Fisheries Management Act 1994,” Mr Tritton said.
“Commercial catch is regulated by a strict quota and retailers are required to adhere to abalone labelling and prescribed record requirements.
“The rules are in place for a reason – to protect this valuable fisheries resource for future generations.
“If you have any information concerning the illegal take, possession or sale of abalone in NSW contact the Fishers Watch phoneline on 1800 043 536 or your nearest fisheries office.
“Rewards are available to persons providing information upon the successful conviction of offenders.”