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Courts Take A Tough Stance On Abalone Thieves

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Magistrates in Wollongong and Nowra Courts have shown little tolerance for abalone offenders in recent weeks, sentencing one man to imprisonment and another to periodic detention for separate abalone offences.

A 32 year old Barrack Heights man was found guilty in the Nowra court of three abalone offences. The court heard that in December 2003 at Black Head, Gerroa, he was found to be in joint possession of 57 abalone, 51 of which were undersized.

He was sentenced to one month imprisonment for each charge, with the sentences to be served concurrently.

In a separate incident, a 31 year old Albion Park Rail man, appeared in the Wollongong court charged with three abalone offences. The court heard that in December 2005 the 31 year old was found, along with another man, in possession of 124 abalone at Walkers Beach, Gerringong. 48 of the seized abalone were undersized.

At the time of the offences he was on a good behaviour bond and the judge sentenced him to three months periodic detention.

Both men were found guilty of the following offences:

* Possess undersized fish

* Exceed possession limits

* Posses/take fish from a fishing closure

The illegal harvesting took place at Gerringong and Gerroa where abalone fishing is prohibited.

NSW waters between Port Stephens and Wreck Bay (Jervis Bay) are closed to the taking of abalone by both commercial and recreational fishers. This closure is in place due to low stocks of abalone, and also the effects of Perkinsus which is a disease affecting abalone.

The recreational bag limit, in areas open to the taking of abalone in NSW, is two per person per day.

Size limits are placed on abalone to assist in the conservation of their stocks. These limits are determined by fisheries researchers and allow them the opportunity to breed at least once before they are caught, ensuring that suitable stock levels remain for future use.

(Good to see a prison cell finally used! Well done to the magistrates involved - Ken A)

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Wow - my childhood memories of diving for abalone with my dad during the Chrissie holidays, and then having fun bashing them with mallets to tenderise them before mum cooked up abalone stir fries and pasta are obviously a thing of the past.

Much as I support bag limits etc to protect fish stocks I do sometimes weep for the freedoms of yesteryear. It is so frustrating that the abusive fishing practices of a few have now led to such restrictive fishing rules and regulations for the rest of us.

I'll rack up abalone diving to the ever growing list of things I'm not allowed to do in our ocean anymore.


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Guest bluecod

Mondo - you can still fish for abalone in a lot of places

2 abolone

2 lobsters

2 groper

a heap of finfish

how much can you eat in one day?

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Hi Bluecod

Whilst I agree with you that I certainly cannot eat more than two abalone in a sitting - my gripe is that I am usually gathering food for more than just myself. When I (used) to chase abalone down near Ulladulla I would generally be looking for enough to feed the whole family (Mum, Granny and both sisters aren't really all that good at prizing abalone from underneath rocks 3-4 metres down).

Thus when Mum would send me down to collect some abs for dinner I would generally need to gather at least 8-10 for it to be worthwhile. In fact, on those rare days when I could only find 2 or three legal size I would generally throw them back in rather than waste everyone's time.

Those were the days eh? Wandering down to the rocks with fins, snorkel and goggles and a flat-head screwdriver on a summers afternoon to get dinner for the family.

Gawd - look at me - I'm 30 and am pining for the good old days!!

Don't get me wrong Bluecod - as I said in my original post I am in absolute agreement with bag and size limits, I'm just sad that some of the freedoms that I used to enjoy as a kid have now been stripped away by the Man due to abuse of our natural fish stocks by a small number of people (like the clowns above who had 50 abalone or so each) :1badmood: .

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Guest bluecod

......I'm just sad that some of the freedoms that I used to enjoy as a kid have now been stripped away by the Man ...

Ain't that the truth - more Regulations in NSW restricting your every move than anytime in history.

And its not just that either - when I was a kid I would spend hours on hours roaming the scrub, catching eels or trapping something to bring home as a pet - these days you can't let your kids alone in a park let alone allow them to go down the bush by themselves

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