Heavy fines have been handed out to several abalone poachers apprehended near Tathra.
On Wednesday March 2 at Bega Local Court, four people were sentenced for Fisheries offences. They received a total of $28,000 in fines and $12,400 in professional costs.
The matter related to a targeted patrol by Fisheries officers from the state-wide operations and investigations group off Baronda Headland within the Mimosa Rocks National Park, near Tathra.
Four people were found to be in possession of 185 abalone, of which 125 were shucked (removed from shell) and 58 were live and prohibited size.
Charges included exceeding possession limit in circumstances of aggravation, possession of prohibited size fish in circumstances of aggravation, unlawful shucking, licence offences and obstruction of Fisheries officer.
Fisheries said this was the first time the four individuals had come to the attention of Fisheries officers. All of the abalone and dive gear was seized and the live abalone were returned to the water.
Abalone is a priority and indictable species under the Fisheries Management Act 1994. As a result heavy penalties including fines and imprisonment are in place.
NSW has a size limit of 11.7cm and recreational possession limit of two abalone per person. Strict quotas are in place for the commercial industry.
DPI Fisheries would like to remind fishers to report any suspected illegal fishing activity to the DPI Fishers Watch line on 1800 043 536 or online at https://bit.ly/3Hwy1AS
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.