Fisheries WA: Mullaloo and Beldon men fined over illegal fish haul in Leeman

A baldchin groper. Picture: file image
A baldchin groper. Picture: file image

TWO local men have been fined more than $7000 for landing an undersize baldchin groper and exceeding the bag limit when boat fishing off Leeman.

Beldon resident Michael Christopher Treble (35) and Mullaloo’s Samuel Ricciardo (33) did not appear in Leeman Court when they were convicted of the offences on June 28.

A Department of Primary Industries media release said the men returned to the coastal town’s boat ramp about noon on February 16.

A Fisheries officer checked their vessel and found 10 fish – six baldchin groper, three breaksea cod and one nearshore species.

They had exceeded the bag limit by seven fish given only of them had a boat fishing licence.

Officers found one of the groper was below the required 40cm.

Treble was found guilty after not entering a plea and fined $2000 plus a mandatory $1403.

Ricciardo entered an endorsed plea of guilty and received the same penalty.

Midwest and Gascoyne compliance manager Mick Kelly emphasised the importance of sustainability.

“When fishers don’t do the right thing, the large fines that apply send a loud and clear message to deter others from offending,” he said.

Call Fishwatch on 1800 815 507 to report illegal fishing.