A recent surveillance operation by Fisheries Officers has led to the apprehension of four males for illegally harvesting 1093 abalone at Baronda Head on the south coast.
Director of Fisheries Compliance, Patrick Tully, said the alleged offenders, who were apprehended on April 2, were known to Fisheries Officers and are also suspected of organised abalone trafficking.
Officers seized the illegally harvested abalone, 792 of which were of a prohibited size and all of which were shucked. The abalone weighed in excess of 85 kilograms and would have realised a market value of $9000.
Charges have not been laid yet, but potential offences include trafficking in fish; possessing more than the possession limit of abalone (aggravated); possessing prohibited size abalone (aggravated); and possessing shucked abalone adjacent to water. If found guilty the alleged offenders could face significant penalties.
Anyone with information on suspected illegal fishing should call 1800 043 536.