Victorian Fisheries Officers swoop twice in one night

Image: Fisheries Victoria

FISHERIES Officers stationed at Altona had a busy shift last Thursday night apprehending two men with 174 abalone at Seaholme then two more men in possession of three illegal mesh nets in the Werribee River.

Acting Director of Fisheries Education and Enforcement, Bob Hutton, said most of the abalone seized at Seaholme were allegedly undersize, but were returned to the water by officers.

“The two men, aged 36 and 24 from Caroline Springs, will be charged with possessing a commercial quantity of abalone, taking abalone during the closed season, taking molluscs from the intertidal zone and using a sharp implement to take abalone. All of their dive gear was seized on the spot and a brief of evidence is being prepared for their court appearance,” Hutton said.

Later that night at 11.50pm, the same officers apprehended two men, both aged 35 from Melton South and Brooklyn, allegedly in the process of setting mesh nets in the Werribee River, adjacent to the Werribee Golf Course.

Mr Hutton said the first net had not been in the water long and had caught only one black bream.

“One net had been set, the second was being prepared and the third net was laid out on the river bank,” he said.

Officers seized the three nets, a single bream and a late model Mazda, and a brief of evidence is being prepared for their court appearance. They are facing charges of using and possessing commercial fishing equipment and not having a recreational fishing licence.

Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing activity is urged to call Fisheries Victoria’s 24 hour reporting line 13 FISH (13 3474).

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