Il­le­gal abalone catches

THREE FINED HEAV­ILY FOR IL­LE­GAL CATCH

Joondalup Times - - FRONT PAGE - Mark Don­ald­son

THE lure of abalone at lo­cal reefs last sum­mer landed three men in hot water in Joon­dalup Mag­is­trates Court re­cently.

Mag­is­trate Gre­gory Benn handed out thou­sands of dol­lars in fines on Fri­day, April 6, af­ter hear­ing three un­re­lated cases of men breach­ing abalone laws be­tween De­cem­ber and Jan­uary.

None of the men ap­peared in court.

The worst case in­volved a man, Kevin Tran, who took 63 abalone from Min­darie about 7.50am on Jan­uary 1, which was out­side of an al­lo­cated catch­ing day. Of­fi­cers found him stuff­ing the shell­fish in his shorts pock­ets.

The Fish­eries prose­cu­tor told the court Tran said he took the catch “be­cause the water was so clear and there was so many of them”.

Mr Benn ac­cepted it was a spur of the mo­ment act but said it was “clearly an of­fence of bla­tant dis­re­gard”.

He fined Tran $800 plus a manda­tory Fish­eries penalty of $1890 and or­dered he pay $190 costs.

In an­other case, Te Ori Ra­p­ata took 66 of the shell­fish on De­cem­ber 11 about 11.15am off Iluka out­side an al­lo­cated catch­ing day.

The Fish­eries prose­cu­tor said Ra­p­ata, who did not have an abalone li­cence, ad­mit­ted to of­fi­cers “I should not have done it”.

Mr Benn la­belled the il­le­gal haul a “fairly large amount” and fined Ra­p­ata $750 plus a manda­tory Fish­eries penalty of $1462.50 and $190.85 costs.

In the third case, Chi­nese na­tional Ju Sung did not have a li­cence when he took 17 abalone off Ocean Reef on Jan­uary 2 out­side an al­lo­cated catch­ing day.

The Fish­eries prose­cu­tor told the court Sung claimed he found some of them un­der a bush at the beach.

In a let­ter to the court, Sung said he was “ashamed” with what he had done and was not aware of the rules.

Mr Benn ac­cepted it was “a mat­ter of ig­no­rance rather than bla­tant dis­re­gard”, fin­ing him $300 and a manda­tory $394.

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