Charges and car seizure for abalone haul

23 December 2019

Friday the 13th was a horror for a man from Highett who turned himself in to Fisheries Officers, had his vehicle, phone and dive equipment seized and will face court on several charges regarding the illegal take of abalone and obstructing fisheries officers.

Victorian Fisheries Authority Director of Education and Enforcement Ian Parks said the man was observed acting suspiciously on Friday the 13th of December at Half Moon Bay in Black Rock.

“At high tide, Fisheries Officers observed an individual performing a focused dive effort over an area of reef known to contain abalone” Mr Parks said.

“Fisheries Officers maintained covert surveillance for the duration of the individuals diving efforts and observed him spending a couple of minutes in a particularly shallow area of the reef before returning to a nearby car, with no signs of abalone, fishing equipment or any other fish in his possession.

“It will be alleged that the individual returned later that night to the water with a torch and collected a bag of abalone from the shallows where he was diving earlier.

“Fisheries Officers intercepted the individual’s vehicle while he was attempting to drive out towards Beach Road.

“The driver then allegedly retrieved a bag from the back before abandoning the vehicle and fleeing on foot. He later turned himself in to fisheries officers.

“A bag and 47 abalone, including 37 undersize, were allegedly located hidden under sticks and soil within the scrub. The accused is to be charged on summons for offences relating to the taking of abalone during a closed season, the taking of more than twice the catch limit of abalone, the taking of undersized abalone and to obstructing authorised officers. The vehicle, a phone and items used in the collection of abalone, including dive equipment, were seized on the spot.”

Mr Parks emphasised that most people do the right thing when it comes to enjoying Victoria’s fisheries, but it only takes a few wrongdoers to have a serious impact.

To report suspicious or illegal fishing activity call 13FISH (13 3474) anytime. You can remain anonymous. Make the call and make the difference.