Abalone catch an hour of chaos
AN hour of chaos descended on Perth beaches yesterday morning as abalone season kicked off with a bang. And a thud. And a crash.
Abalone fishing may be the only water activity where swimming ability and appropriate attire are optional, and many of the hundreds of people dashing into the shallows at Mettam’s Pool collected bruises and cuts at almost the same rate as the edible molluscs.
While more experienced fishers — easily discernible by their choice of bathers or wetsuits rather than jeans — collected their 15-abalone bag limit in a matter of minutes, others spent the full hour from 7am slipping and slithering all over the reef in search of the highly prized delicacy.
Surf Life Saving WA’s dedicated abalone patrol was only required to perform two rescues and two preventative actions across the metropolitan area.
Nine people were fined $200 for exceeding the bag limit with an additional two copping $1000 “high-tier” fines for attempting to make off with catches well in excess of their quota.
A further 33 people were issued warnings and one person is facing a potential prosecution for giving Fisheries officers a false name.
Legal check: A Fisheries officer with first-time abalone catchers.