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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Thursday 19 October 2017

Seven men fined in court for illegally taking giant clams

​A magistrate in Carnarvon has this week ordered seven men to each pay $1,002.35 in fines, mandatory penalties and costs after they fished illegally in a restricted area.

The court heard that in September last year, the offenders (aged between 20 and 58) had jointly taken 46.15 kilograms of clam meat from a reef at Point Quobba.

Recreational or commercial fishing, including the collection of crustaceans and shells, live and dead coral and live rock, is not allowed in the restricted area, except for the collection of rock oysters by hand or catching squid by using a jig without bait.

A Fisheries prosecutor said the accused were cooperative and remorseful, following their apprehension on Friday 30 September 2016.

He also told the court the men had admitted taking clams, from the reef in the Point Quobba restricted area, by either using steel pry bars or their hands and either removing the clam meat from the shells and/or placing it in bags and into ice boxes to take it back to Perth to eat.

  A pile of freshly shucked, discarded clam shells at Point Quobba

The men did not appear in court, but submitted endorsed pleas of guilty and the magistrate took into account there was no deliberate attempt to flout the law and that the group was cooperative and none of them had any prior Fisheries offences.

Carnarvon-based Senior Fisheries and Marine Officer Scott O’Loughlin said the case was a reminder that special rules applied in the Point Quobba Fish Habitat Protection Area and especially the restricted area within the FHPA.

“The restricted area of coral reef and lagoon is at the northern end of the Fish Habitat Protection Area, which adjoins the Blowholes, next to Quobba Station.,” Mr O’Loughlin said.

“The restricted area has been established to protect vulnerable habitats and fish species.

“Even where fishing is permitted in the FHPA, the bag limit of the Tridacna species of clams is two per fisher, per day.”

Information on the Point Quobba FHPA and other Fish Habitat Protection Area along the WA coast can be found online at or from the Fisheries office in Carnarvon.

Anyone who has information on illegal fishing activities is asked to call the FishWatch reporting line 1800 815 507. Information can be provided confidentially.

Last modified: 19/10/2017 1:46 PM

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