Poachers exposed in Balgowan Abalone heist

by PIRSA 
A trio men are expected to face charges for illegally taking a commercial quantity of Greenlip Abalone from an area near Balgowan on 11 March. The men were apprehended after Fisheries Officers were alerted to their activities by information provided to the Fishwatch number.

It will be alleged that the catch of 192 Abalone equated to an estimated commercial value of $2300 and included 89 Abalone under the minimum legal size limit.

Further investigations by Fisheries Officers resulted in another quantity of Abalone being seized from a Maitland residence on the same day, which officers will allege was illegally caught.

PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture Regional Manager, Randel Donovan, said the apprehension was a clear reminder that the community is watching and anyone caught engaging in illegal activities will not be tolerated.

'Fishing rules and regulations are in place to not only ensure the long term sustainability of our fisheries, but to ensure all fishers have controlled access to the State’s resources,' Mr Donovan said.

'Illegal activities undermine the sustainability of our fish stocks and fishers need to be aware that heavy penalties apply to those who choose to blatantly disregard the rules.

'Officers are highly mobile and use a variety of investigations techniques to monitor this type of illegal behaviour.

'While the time and effort conducting these operations can be difficult – often in a hot and harsh conditions – ultimately anyone detected deliberately exceeding daily limits, and/or trafficking, will be prosecuted.'

An individual convicted of trafficking could face a maximum fine of up to $100 000 or four years imprisonment.

Fishers are reminded that the daily bag limit for Abalone is five per person and the minimum length is 13 centimetres.

For more information on the rules that apply to Abalone fishing visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fisheries. Suspicious or illegal fishing activity can be reported to the 24 hour Fishwatch number on 1800 065 522. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.
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