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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
A rock lobster emerging from a reef habitat
Friday 24 August 2018

Alleged illegal abalone and lobster trade - search warrants executed

​Fisheries officers have executed search warrants in Perth and the South West, as part of an investigation into alleged illegal trading in abalone and rock lobster.

The raids were the culmination of months of covert surveillance operations by our officers to identify people alleged to be illegally dealing in high value seafood.

Dealing in recreationally caught fish of any species is illegal and has the potential to compromise livelihoods in Western Australia’s commercial fishing industry and seafood supply chains, as well as impacting on the sustainability of fish stocks.

Two men, apprehended as a result of the investigation, are likely to face a number of charges for serious offences and further enquiries are continuing into a number of other people.

The offences involve the alleged dealing of more than 500 rock lobsters and more than 1,000 abalone. 

Individuals who traffick in fish, such as abalone and rock lobster, face fines of up to $400,000 and four year’s imprisonment, as well as court orders, licence suspensions and vehicle and vessel forfeitures.

Businesses can be fined up to $800,000 for similar fish trafficking offences.

Anyone who has information on illegal fishing activities is asked to call FishWatch on 1800 815 507.

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Last modified: 24/08/2018 4:39 PM

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