Fisheries have spoken out over concern of illegal abalone fishing in Yallingup, saying the actions were of licensed commercial fisherman.
A concerned resident contacted the Mail and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development - Fisheries after witnessing what they believed to be questionable abalone fishing at a reef in Yallingup.
The witness was informed by the department that the observed fishers were commercial and their activities were lawful.
However, they were still concerned as to why permission was given for this to occur and worried the stocks had been 'plundered'.
"Just because it is legal, doesn't mean it is moral," they said.
"I want to know how much they were allowed to take and why they were allowed to shuck on the beach."
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development South West Bioregions manager Tim Nicholas said the department was aware of the abalone fishing and confirmed the reported activity was legally undertaken.
"Commercial abalone fishing in WA is managed under a plan that provides for commercial abalone fishers operating a limited number of managed fishery licences to take specific amounts of abalone (quota) in particular zones," he said.
"The management plan sets out a comprehensive set of requirements that abalone fishers must comply with to ensure the abalone resource is managed sustainably while allowing them to undertake their commercial fishing operations."
Mr Nicholas said the department undertook a range of compliance monitoring activities to ensure commercial and recreational abalone fishers complied with their respective rules.
"The department also monitors and assesses abalone stocks and the broader abalone resource on an ongoing basis. The outputs from these compliance and science activities feed into DPIRD's management to ensure both recreational and commercial fishers in WA are able to continue to sustainably access and enjoy our iconic abalone resource.
"Commercial fishing in WA is tightly regulated and all commercial fishing must be undertaken by licensed operators in accordance with the relevant legislation for that fishery or activity."
As for shucking, for recreational fishers, removing abalone from their shells is not permitted within 200 metres of the high-water mark. Whereas, the general rules relating to shucking do not apply to the commercial fishers.
Mr Nicholas said the department encouraged the public to report suspicious or suspected illegal fishing activities.
Reports can be made on 1800 815 507.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.