A Great Southern man has been apprehended on illegal fishing charges following a routine patrol

Fisheries and Marine officers have detained a 31-year-old man, east of Hopetoun, after he was allegedly caught on illegal fishing charges.

The Great Southern man is accused of taking 58 Abalone, 29 of which were allegedly under the minimum size limit of 60 mm. 

Esperance Supervising Fisheries and Marine officer Aly Jennings said the man was seen by Fisheries Officers performing a routine patrol.

Licensed recreational Abalone fishers in the Southern Zone, extending from the Busselton Jetty to the South Australian border, are limited to a maximum of 20 roe abalone per person per day.

Officer Jennings said the man, who did not have a license to fish abalone, allegedly took almost three times the allowable bag limit.

Ms Jennings said fishers should expect to be ‘observed and checked’ by fisheries officers, with regular patrols of the coastline scheduled.

“The taking of more abalone than permitted and the taking of undersize fish can negatively impact fish stocks on shallow reef platforms,” she said.

“Breaches of the rules that are in place to protect our natural fish resources can result in hefty penalties.”

Licences are required for all abalone fishing, with penalties for illegal fishing attracting fines of up to $5000 per person.

For illegally fishing abalone, an additional mandatory penalty of $30 per excess abalone applies.

A copy of the Recreational fishing for abalone guide 2017/18 can be found on the Fisheries website at www.fish.wa.gov.au 

The guide states licensed abalone fishers may catch 20 per fisher per day in the Southern Zone, provided they are larger than the legal minimum size limit of 60 mm.