Two men have been apprehended by Batemans Bay Fisheries Officers as part of an ongoing operation.
The men were allegedly in joint possession of a large quantity of Abalone, Eastern Rock Lobster, Sea Urchins and other mixed molluscs illegally taken from the North Head (restricted) Habitat Protection Zone of the Batemans Marine Park on June 26.
The pair were allegedly found to be in joint possession of 36 Blacklip Abalone, 20 of which were of a prohibited size. Eight Eastern Rock Lobster, three of which were a prohibited size. 10 Red Sea Urchins and 35 mixed molluscs including Triton Snails and Cartrut Snails.
Only shore-based recreational line fish is allowed in this area of the Batemans Marine Park.
The men’s dive gear was seized, with the fish returned to the water alive.
The men will likely be summoned to court and face several serious charges including offences against the Fisheries Management Act and the Marine Estate Management Regulations.
The charges carry penalties of up to $22,000 or six months imprisonment or both for a first offence.
Divers are reminded that the possession limit for Abalone is two per person and the size limit is 11.7cm and the possession limit for Eastern Rock Lobsters is three per person (two at the time of offending) and the size limit is 10.4cm.
All divers and fishers are reminded that the Batemans Marine Park runs from Bawley Point in the north to Bermagui in the south with various zones with different fishing rules apparent across the entire park.
Significant penalties apply to those who break these rules.
Download the FishSmart NSW app to make yourself aware of all the Fisheries and Marine Parks rules across NSW.
To report illegal fishing, call the Fishers Watch phone line 1800 043 536 or report online at https://fal.cn/3fMUz.