Victoria’s ‘abalone war’ with NSW poachers


  • Two boats collided in a chase to the border. One was badly broken on the aspect and needed to limp again to Eden, NSW. Wildlife officers declare it had repeatedly ignored requests to cease.
  • The rock cairn marking the State border was torn down in order that now nobody is aware of precisely the place NSW fisheries end and Victorian fisheries begin.
  • Mallacoota divers found a younger boy performing as “cockatoo”, or lookout, to inform poachers when Victorian boats have been approaching. They confiscated subject glasses and a radio then allowed the boy to radio his boat to select him up.
A close up of a Mallacoota abalone.

A detailed up of a Mallacoota abalone.Credit score:The Age Archives


Mallacoota diver Grant Shorland say the poachers typically jeer and swear when the Victorians inform them to go away — though practically a dozen of their boats have been captured it the previous yr.

He mentioned he took armed Commonwealth wildlife officers on one chase after poachers.


He believes poaching will proceed whereas there’s a lot cash to be made.

Wildlife patrols can deter many however so long as abalone promote for as a lot as $7.80 a kilo, the poachers discover it definitely worth the danger.

“It attracts an unsavoury ingredient. The have some huge cash tied up in it. There’s some huge cash obtainable to them.”

Victoria’s Chief Wildlife and Fisheries Officer Mr Kevin Avenue, says the one option to cease it’s to present officers the ability to grab ships committing an offence.

He says the boats are full of a brand new crew as quickly as one is picked up on such prices, as obstructing an officer or having an undersized catch.

New South Wales divers are allowed to promote abalone of a minimal shell dimension of 10 centimetres. Victorian divers should wait till the shellfish attain 12 centimetres.

So the NSW poachers are robbing the Victorian fishermen of younger abalone.

Diving licences value about $5 in New South Wales in comparison with $200 her the place the speed of fishing is rigorously managed.

Lone battle


In the mean time Mr Allan is the one officer on the two-man Mallacoota station.

New boats have been purchased for his patrols after months wherein he has needed to depend on the divers’ fleet as a result of the Fisheries boat was smashed in an accident.

The divers introduced up abalone price about $1 million at Mallacoota on this previous monetary yr.

However Mr Shorland says the 29 divers, now members of the native fishermen’s co-operative are having to compete for shellfish over a shrinking stretch of coast.

He says he doesn’t trouble fishing the reefs round Gabo Island and Cape Howe as a result of the abalone have been depleted by the poachers.

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