Pyramid Rock Divers found with 215 Abalone
28 February 2018
A 13FISH call has helped Victorian Fisheries Authority officers catch out alleged illegal fishing for abalone near Cowes yesterday.
The call, describing suspicious activity at Pyramid Rock, was received from a vigilant member of the community.
Fisheries Officers responded immediately from Cowes and located two males divers with scuba diving equipment.
The males were apprehended and a commercial quantity of abalone was allegedly located. One of the males allegedly assaulted a fisheries officer during the apprehension. The vehicle, dive equipment and abalone were seized from the males.
The abalone were measured by Fisheries Officers and returned to the water alive. Of the 215 abalone allegedly taken, 154 were found to be less than the legal minimum size of 11cm.
Both males will be charged on summons with taking a commercial quantity of abalone and face penalties exceeding $95,000 and up to five years jail each. One is also expected to be charged with assaulting a fisheries officer in the execution of their duties.
Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing is urged to call the 24-hour reporting line 13FISH (133474), anytime.