Fishy book keeping nets man $4000 fine
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A licenced commercial abalone diver has found himself in the deep end for cooking the books, fined $4000 for entering false and misleading information in his Diver’s Logbook.
Industry & Investment (I&I) NSW Fisheries Compliance Manager, Glenn Tritton, said the man was apprehended after an investigation by Industry & Investment (I&I) NSW Fisheries Officers on the NSW South Coast in February.
“I&I NSW Fisheries Officers from the Statewide Operations and Investigations Group conducted a two day investigation into the diving activities of the licensed abalone diver, in relation to commercial abalone diving activities in the Kioloa area, south of Ulladulla,” Mr Tritton said.
“As a result, a 37 year old man from Ulladulla was prosecuted under the Fisheries Management (Abalone Share Management Plan) Regulation 2000 for two counts of providing false and misleading information entered into the divers logbook.
“The diver was found to be misreporting the region and subzone he was fishing for abalone.
“At Milton local Court, the 37 year old man was fined a total of $4000 ($2000 for each day’s offence) and ordered to pay $152 in Court costs.
“This is an exceptional result for our tireless fisheries officers, who continue to crack down on those doing the wrong thing.”
Accurate information from Commercial Abalone divers on their logsheets is essential in managing the sustainability of the abalone resource in NSW.
Licensed commercial abalone divers are regulated by strict quotas allocated to shareholders within the abalone fishery.
The recreational possession limit in NSW is 2 per person. The minimum prescribed legal length for abalone in NSW is 11.7cm for commercial and recreational fishers.
“Fisheries Officers closely monitor all aspects of the NSW abalone fishery including recreational take, illegal poaching, blackmarket receivers and compliance within the commercial industry,” Mr Tritton said.
“Fisheries Officers often inspect commercially licensed abalone divers at sea and onshore checks include licences, catch and logbooks.
“People who continue exploit the abalone fishery are only shortchanging future generations of fishers.
“The NSW Government takes abalone crime very seriously, and I&I NSW Fisheries Officers will continue to target those blatantly flouting fisheries regulations.”
Rewards are offered for information leading to the conviction of illegal abalone receivers and divers.
Information can be provided direct to the abalone compliance group on 6499 8000.
Media contact: Sarah McGregor 0427 075 167