Thursday, 20 June 2019 Sydney
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ABALONE POACHING PARTY STUNG WITH $5,000 FINE::

A party of six recreational fishers have been fined over $5,000 for trying to poach abalone with a potential commercial value of $1,500.

The group were detected by Fisheries Officers as they were leaving the water at Cape Northumberland, near Port MacDonnell in the South East.

It is alleged the group had in their possession 53 black lip abalone of which 48 were under the legal-size limit of 13cm.

The alleged offences include taking undersize abalone, fail to carry a measuring device when fishing for abalone, fail to replace undersize abalone and mutilating (shucking) the abalone at sea. It is also alleged they were taking the abalone from the intertidal zone.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone reminded fishers that it is important to know the rules before they head out on the water.

“Abalone is a priority species in South Australia and as such, any breaches of the rules involving this species is taken very seriously by the State Government,” said Minister Whetstone.

“It is illegal to take any living organism from the intertidal zone, which is an area of reef between the high water mark and water to a depth of two metres.

“This area of reef is often exposed to over fishing which is why it is protected by strict intertidal zone bans.

“If people want to catch abalone, rock lobster, periwinkles or any other benthic marine organism they must be taking them from waters deeper than two metres.

“Thank you to the members of the public who used Fishwatch to report fishers operating in the intertidal reefs.

“Based on this information our Fisheries Officers programmed regular patrols to ensure a greater presence in the area during key periods.”