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Abalone Offenders in Hot Water After Being Found Guilty in Narooma Local Court

Tough penalties have recently been imposed on Abalone offenders in NSW Far South Coast local courts. On 15 July 2021 in Narooma Local Court a Fisheries prosecution from Aragunnu (south of Bermagui) was finalised.

Two local men were apprehended by Fisheries Officers in possession of 262 shucked abalone at the Aragunnu campground within the Mimosa Rocks National Park. The men were sentenced on 11 March and 15 July 2021 after one man pleaded not guilty to the offence, but was later found guilty by the court, while the second man plead guilty. The cumulative total of penalties included 16 months' imprisonment, to be served by way of intensive correction orders, plus $12,250 in fines, additional monetary penalties, and costs. These penalties related to charges for abalone trafficking and possession of shucked abalone.

On 13 July 2021 in Bega Local Court, three men from the ACT pleaded guilty to joint possession of 95 abalone (87 prohibited size). The men were apprehended by Fisheries Officers at Baronda Headland, locally known as Cowdroys within the Mimosa Rocks National Park near Tathra. The three men were fined a total of $12,000 for charges in relation to exceeding the possession limit of abalone in circumstances of aggravation and possession of prohibited size fish in circumstances of aggravation. Dive equipment was seized by Fisheries for each matter and forfeited. The maximum penalties for abalone theft include fines of up the $88,000 and terms of imprisonment up to 10 years for abalone trafficking.

Rewards of up to $1,000 are available for information that leads to a conviction of abalone thieves. Information can be reported to Fishers Watch on 1800 043 536 or via the online form