Operation Acacia Delivers Another Big Court Fine

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10th November 2009, 11:39pm - Views: 431


Media Release
6 November 2009 49/2009

Operation Acacia delivers another big court fine


A 40-year-old man was today ordered to pay fines, penalties and court costs totalling more
than $104,000, after pleading guilty to a range of fisheries offences uncovered during
Operation Acacia.

Kevin HUYNH of Maylands was fined $5,000 for each of three counts of contravening the
Abalone Management Plan 1992. The contraventions involved dealing in more than 80
kilograms of abalone in June and July last year. He was fined $5,000 for one count of
attempting to deal in a further 250 kilograms of abalone between July and August 2008.

He was also fined $750 for possession of 55 rock lobster tails.

On top of the fines, he was ordered to pay a mandatory additional penalty of $83,094 for the
abalone and rock lobsters involved in the dealing and possession offences and court costs of
$910.20. The magistrate ordered forfeiture of the van used to carry the product, a commercial
scale and $1,500 cash seized when Mr Huynh was apprehended.

The Department of Fisheries' Manager of Compliance and Regional Support John Looby said
recreational and commercial fishers who adhered to the rules, to ensure our fish stocks were
managed for present and future generations, would welcome this significant court result.

"The court-ordered forfeiture of the van used in these offences sets a precedent that will be
applied in similar cases in respect of boats, vehicles and equipment," Mr Looby said.

"This outcome also marks the completion of a very successful compliance operation,
conducted by the Department of Fisheries. Operation Acacia has led to fines of more than
$200,000 being issued against seven people and two restaurant businesses.

"We know this has put a big dent in black market abalone operations in WA and we will
continue to focus on this and other organised activity in lobster and other high value fish, in
order to protect our fisheries in this State from illegal exploitation."

In August last year, Fisheries and Marine Officers and WA Police worked together on
Operation Acacia, for a series of searches and interviews at business premises and homes in
Perth and regional towns. Those swoops, on the 21st and 25th of August 2008, were preceded
by seven months of covert surveillance and compliance activity.

Mr Looby said WA's commercial abalone fishery was always a potential target, because of
the high demand and price for abalone on international markets.

"However, Operation Acacia has targeted black market activity and played a vital role in helping
us to continue careful management of this important fishery now and into the future," he said.


MEDIA CONTACT:

Ashley Malone Ph: 9203 0357
Media Liaison Officer Mobile: 0418 901 767


Report all suspected illegal fishing activity to FISHWATCH 1800 815 507




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