A 31 year old Batemans Bay man is likely to face several abalone related charges, after he was allegedly caught with nearly 200 times the legal abalone bag limit.
On Tuesday 27th November 2007, NSW Police, who were acting on information from NSW DPI, stopped a vehicle on Glasshouse Rocks Rd, Narooma.
When the vehicle was searched Police Officers found 396 shucked abalone, several pieces of diving gear and 2 abalone removing tools; all items were wet.
The Batemans Bay man may face charges before Narooma Local Court of possessing more than the legal bag limit of abalone and possessing shucked abalone adjacent to waters, offences which carry a maximum penalties of $11,000 and/or three months imprisonment or both and $5500 respectively.
The legal recreational bag limit for abalone is 2 per person per day. It is also illegal for a recreational fisher to shuck (remove the meat from the shell), or have shucked abalone in their possession, in, on or adjacent to any NSW waters.
NSW Department of Primary Industries, Manager Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton said, 'Abalone is a precious resource that DPI is entrusted with managing for the wider community to ensure its long term sustainability.
'Possession limits are in place to encourage responsible fishing, reduce the chance of over-fishing, and to ensure that stocks remain at a suitable level for future harvest.
'People who take abalone in excess of the bag and size limits have the potential to destroy both the commercial and recreational abalone fishery in NSW.
'Anyone who thinks they can get away with this is on notice - if you break the law you will be caught and you will face heavy fines and or gaol time,' Mr Tritton said.
Substantial Rewards are available to the public for any information leading to the successful conviction of Abalone thieves. http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/