By Alex Blucher
Police had to be called to assist NSW Fisheries officers when two men caught illegally fishing for abalone north of Bermagui on the state's South Coast became aggressive.
This incident occurred two weeks ago and is just the latest in a long history of abalone trafficking that has devastated the commercial abalone fishing industry.
Manager of special operations in the NSW Fisheries Compliance section, Tony Andrews, says the illegal catch was significant.
"The bag that was hidden along the beach access track. There were 61 shucked abalone, eight live abalone and one eastern rock lobster.
"The bag limit for abalone is two. They've taken it into the realm of a commercial operation.
"Operations such as this attract very high penalties through the courts," he said.
This is certainly not an isolated incident.
The industry has been plagued with abalone poaching for over two decades.
In recent years, local and international trafficking syndicates have been busted, particularly around the NSW south coast. More....