Monday, 21 July 2008

Shell shock: abalone poacher jailed

A 61-year-old man from the NSW South Coast has been jailed for four months and fined $900 for poaching abalone.

The Narooma man was apprehended during a crackdown on illegal fishing, Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said.

The man had a "significant history of abalone offences", Mr Macdonald said in a statement.

"This man was caught on two occasions possessing a total of more than 400 illegally caught and undersized fish," the minister said.

"Authorities will not tolerate illegal fishing activity and this four-month jail sentence clearly demonstrated this."

The man, whose diving gear was also seized, was sentenced in the Narooma local court on Thursday last week.

Mr Macdonald said targeted surveillance operations by NSW fisheries officers during the last 12 months had resulted in the seizure of more than 9900 illegally caught abalone on the state's South Coast.

The officers issued 13 penalty notices and also launched court proceedings for more than 180 abalone offences, he added.

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