Jail time, a lengthy fishing ban and a hefty fine have been slapped on a Derrimut man for violating an existing Court order relating to illegal fishing of abalone in Victorian waters.
The 29 year-old Derrimut man has been given a 12 month jail sentence and banned from fishing for abalone for 15 years after breaking an existing Court order relating to abalone theft.
Fisheries Victoria Regional Fisheries Officer, Paul Millar said the man was previously subject to a five year Court order that meant he was not allowed to be in possession of abalone or be within 1km of marine or estuarine waters until 2015.
'However, during the afternoon of 16th January this year, a day closed to the taking of abalone in the bay, at Port Phillip Bay near Avalon, the man was observed diving with two other men,' Mr Millar said.
'He was seen by Fisheries Victoria officers taking abalone from a shallow reef and placing them in a mesh catch bag.
'The man was interviewed and admitted taking 20 abalone – he also did not hold a valid recreational fishing licence.'
Mr Millar said as well as the jail sentence the man was fined $1000 for not having his recreational fishing licence and taking invertebrates from the inter-tidal zone.
No invertebrates, including abalone, can be taken from water less than two metres deep in Port Philip Bay.
'Fisheries Officers will continue to respond to major breaches of fisheries regulations that threaten the sustainability of Victoria’s fisheries.
'This is a strong reminder to all recreational anglers that breaches can result in serious outcomes,' he said.
Fisheries Victoria encourages and supports members of the public to report fisheries offences to the 24-hour fisheries offence reporting line – 13FISH (13 3474).
DPI Victoria website