Authorities Winning the Battle Against Abalone Poaching11 September 2012
AUSTRALIA - The creation of an indictable offence for trafficking commercial quantities of abalone seems to be keeping illegal fishing in check.
Three years ago, the Victorian Government increased the penalties for unlawful possession of the species. Those convicted can now face up to a A$150,000 fine or ten years imprisonment, reports
Geoff Ellis, the chief executive of the Eastern Zone Abalone Industry Association, says that, like for any valuable commodity, the black market demand remains high.
He also says that despite the increased penalties acting as a deterrent, authorities are remaining vigilant to stay on top of the problem.
"The Fisheries Victoria officers are extremely vigilant and the association I'm involved with, EZAIA, engage undercover officers," he said.
"So, look, I think we're winning the battle, but to those individuals who think they would like to chance their hand, I'd warn them that they ought to think very seriously about it before they do so."
TheFishSite News Desk