Spearo fined for illegal groper

FINES and penalties issued by an Esperance Court last week serve to remind spear fishers to adhere to size and bag limits.

The magistrate ordered Levi Rosolin of Herne Hill (aged 22) to pay a total of $2,670.80 for having speared five western blue groper (three of which were found to be undersize) when the offender’s catch was checked by Fisheries and Marine Officers.

A Department of Fisheries’ prosecutor told the court that when he was formally interviewed, Rososlin had admitted he had not measured any of the fish, which he had caught while diving at Wylie Bay east of Esperance in early January.

The minimum size limit that applies to western blue groper, which is listed as a Category One species, is 500mm in fish length – measured from the point of the snout to the tip of the tail.

Fishers can only take one western blue groper, under the daily species bag limit.

Brett Hopley, the District Supervising Fisheries and Marine Officer based at Esperance, said using a spear gun was a method of fishing that killed fish instantly and there were no second chances if a fish was later found to be undersize.

“The onus is on spear fishers to be sure the catch they are targeting will not be undersize when it is taken,” Mr Hopley said.

“These offences occurred on a busy local beach in front of many bystanders. I received four individual reports that this man may have been breaching the fishing rules. We appreciate the community support that comes to us via the Esperance office, or through calls that are made to the department’s FishWatch line on 1800 815 507.”

You can find the State-wide recreational fishing guide and other helpful guides online, via, or collect them from departmental offices, or information outlets.

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