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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Wednesday 21 December 2016

405 abalone more than the daily bag limit

​Two South West men are being investigated, with a view to prosecution, for alleged offences related to recreational abalone fishing off the coast, just north of Margaret River.

The men, both aged 27, from Busselton and Dunsborough were apprehended by Fisheries and Marine Officers on Friday (16 December 2016).
Acting Compliance Manager Southern Region, Steve Embling said the men were returning to their vehicle after fishing for abalone, when first approached by the Fisheries officers, who then searched the men’s vehicle and located a total of 445 Roe’s abalone, which were concealed in the rear of the vehicle.

“The men told the Fisheries officers they had dived and caught the abalone and also claimed the abalone were for personal consumption. Officers seized a combined total of 405 of the abalone in excess of the allowable daily bag limit that applies,” Mr Embling said.

“Licensed recreational abalone fishers are limited to a maximum of 20 Roe’s abalone per day per fisher, in the Southern Zone fishery.

“Search warrants were executed on the homes of the two men at Busselton and Dunsborough but no further abalone was located. Investigations are continuing and charges are expected”.

Penalties can be severe for illegal fishing activity. Proven recreational fishing offences can attract fines of up to $5,000 per person and any excess abalone involved would also attract an additional and mandatory penalty of $30 per abalone for each person found in possession of them.

Abalone is a highly sought-after shellfish, with strict rules to ensure that the stocks are not over exploited. A number of other people have been apprehended in WA’s South West in the past few weeks with excess bag limit and undersize abalone.

A copy of the Recreational fishing for abalone guide 2016/17 can be found on the Department of Fisheries website at or at Information outlets around WA.

The guide has details of WA’s Southern Zone for abalone fishing, which extends from the Busselton Jetty to the South Australian border and that zone is currently open for fishing every day, until the annual season closes on 15 May 2017. Fisheries officers will continue to patrol and monitor fishing activity.

Licences are required for all abalone fishing and can be purchased from the department’s website.

As always, fishers are urged to consider their personal safety at all times and to not take risks. Safety tips for fishing in WA are available on the FISH and SURVIVE website.

Last modified: 21/12/2016 10:07 AM

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