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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Monday 24 December 2018

Operation Clearview nabs alleged abalone poachers on Perth coast

​An abalone bust in the early hours of Saturday morning, in the northern Perth suburb of Iluka, will lead to the prosecution of three men, found in joint possession of 312 abalone.

The 312 Roe’s abalone and the trio’s fishing gear have been seized for evidence.


Fisheries and Marine Officers working on Operation Clearview apprehended two males, aged 51 and 59, from Osborne Park and a 35-year-old Girrawheen man.

The men had allegedly gathered their illegal haul of abalone from a reef platform at Iluka.

Operation Clearview has been set up to target the illegal take and sale of abalone in Perth and officers have been keeping a close watch on the Metropolitan coast.

Considering the number of abalone the men had with them, they face several possible charges and, if found guilty, will likely be issued with significant fines plus mandatory penalties under Section 222 of the Fish Resources Management Act. The mandatory penalty is based on ten times the value of the catch, which for abalone is $30 each, so all up the Section 222 penalty alone for each man would amount to $9,360 for the 312 abalone involved.
 
Supervising Fisheries and Marine Officer Cameron Dawes-Smith said Perth’s abalone fishery was extremely precious and illegal activity could put it at serious risk.

“To ensure abalone is here for future generations, there are strict rules,” Mr Dawes-Smith said.

 “Serious offences, like trafficking of abalone, could attract fines of up to $400,000 and four years’ imprisonment for offenders, as well as forfeiture of vessels, vehicles and equipment.
 
“To complement routine patrols, Fisheries officers also use advanced technology to protect our precious abalone fishing zones. A range of strategies, tactics and technology are being used during Operation Clearview to target illegal abalone fishing.”

The West Coast Zone, between Busselton Jetty and Moore River, can only be fished in four one hour sessions each season and fishers must be licensed. The next fishing session will be between 7am and 8am on Saturday 12 January.

WA’s fishing rules and limits are available online at www.fish.wa.gov.au website and in the Recreational fishing guide. There is also a specific Abalone recreational fishing guide.

Most WA fishers do the right thing and are well-known for their stewardship of our fisheries. However, if you see something involving fish or fishing that doesn’t look right, you can help our Fisheries officers by calling FishWatch, which is a reporting line that is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Just call 1800 815 507.

Last modified: 24/12/2018 1:36 PM

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