A 40 year-old man has been prohibited from fishing for abalone in Western Australia, following an order handed down in a Joondalup court this week (Wednesday 10 October).
Duy Cam Dao of Marangaroo was additionally ordered to pay fines, court costs and a mandatory penalty amounting to $9,100.70 for being involved in taking abalone from reefs off Waterman, where abalone fishing is not allowed. He also forfeited all of the fishing gear he used at the time.
The court was told that Dao was one of three men, who appeared to become startled after returning to shore with their catch, dumped it and ran from the beach to a vehicle parked on West Coast Highway where they were intercepted by Fisheries and Marine Officers.
Supervising Fisheries and Marine Officer Mark Kleeman said that Dao and the two other men had dropped bags, containing a total of 330 abalone, shortly before being apprehended just before 1am on Wednesday 25 January 2006.
“Dao also refused to give his name and address, when called on to do so by the Fisheries and Marine Officers who apprehended him,” Mr Kleeman said.
“The men were trying to operate under the cover of darkness, but were seen by Fisheries Officers from the cliff top above beach in the Waterman’s Reef Observation Area, which is closed to the take of abalone at all times of the year.
“Abalone fishing is very tightly managed between the Busselton Jetty and the Greenough River Mouth, to help ensure the future of the fishery. As well as no take areas, the recreational season is very limited in those areas where abalone fishing is allowed.
“WA has one of the few remaining sustainable abalone fisheries in the world and, as part of ensuring its careful management based on good research, there will be only six hours of abalone fishing allowed in the West Coast zone this year – between 7am and 8am on six consecutive Sundays from 4 November – 9 December 2007.”
Mr Kleeman said Dao’s two co-offenders were convicted and heavily fined in November last year and this week’s court rulings resulted in an appropriate conclusion to the case.
“The magistrate took into account that this was a second offence for Dao and issued an order under Section 225 of the Fish Resources Management Act to ban him from fishing for abalone because the offence was serious and he hadn’t learnt his lesson,” he said.