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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Thursday 2 August 2018

Trafficking and other abalone offences attract fines of more than $19,000

​An early morning roadside inspection of a vehicle on West Coast Highway at Watermans Bay in December of 2016 had its sequel in the Joondalup Court this week, with a 47-year-old Ellenbrook man fined heavily for having 255 abalone in his possession.

Due to the large quantities of abalone involved, Dat Duc LUU was convicted under trafficking legislation and given a fine and penalty of $14,898.40, along with $3,365 for other fishing offences and $988.70 in court costs.

The court heard that Luu was apprehended just before 5am on Friday 30 December in 2016.

The 255 abalone sezied by Fisheries compliance officers

Fisheries and Marine Officers were conducting a targeted operation and had earlier observed the offender fishing in an area of the Marmion Marine Park that is off limits.

Waterman Recreation Area, which is located within the marine park, has been generally closed to fishing for near 50 years. All reef life, including abalone, rock lobster, crabs and other shellfish are totally protected in this area.

Signage in the area clearly identified that fishing there, particularly for reef dwelling marine life, is strictly prohibited. This area is particularly important for abalone research to help in determining the total capacity of the metropolitan abalone fishery.

Metropolitan Region Compliance Manager Todd A’Vard said the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development undertook regular surveillance of the Waterman Recreation Area to counter the risk of abalone poaching - day and night.

“Fishing rules are crucial to help maintain the sustainability of Western Australia’s fisheries, particularly abalone, and the majority of recreational fishers do the right thing, but taking 255 abalone from a restricted area is totally unacceptable and the fines imposed this week reflect the magistrate’s and community’s concern,” Mr A’Vard said.

“While these were Mr Luu’s first fisheries offences, he admitted to fishing in the Waterman Recreation Area on three occasions and it’s the repeated offending that has also led to him being prohibited from fishing for or being in possession of abalone for two years.

“We would ask the local community to maintain vigilance and report any suspicious activity in or near this important reef area.”

Call FishWatch on 1800 815 507 to report any suspected illegal fishing activity.

Information on rules and limits is available in the Recreational fishing guide, which can be viewed or downloaded at

Last modified: 2/08/2018 3:05 PM

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