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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Thursday 28 June 2018

Bag and size limit breaches lead to big fines

​An inspection of a boat by Fisheries and Marine Officers, in February, had its sequel in the Leeman Court this week (Wednesday), when two men were fined a total of more than $7,100 for breaching bag limits and possessing undersize fish.

The men had returned to the Leeman town ramp at about midday on Friday 16 February, when the Fisheries officers checked the vessel.

Leeman Court heard that one of the men, Michael Christopher TREBLE (aged 35) of Beldon was asked if the men had been fishing and he then removed a wetsuit off the deck of the boat to reveal four demersal fish.

The court was also told by the Fisheries prosecutor that several more fish could be seen in an open long white catch bag on the vessel and that Treble was advised to reveal all fish and place them on the deck.

Ten fish were then placed on the deck, including six baldchin groper, three breaksea cod and one nearshore species. For the joint offences prosecuted, with only one of the men having a Fishing from Boat Licence, the pair had seven more demersal fish than they should have.

On inspection, the Fisheries officers found one of the baldchin groper was below the minimum required size limit of 400 millimetres.

Treble did not appear in court and had not entered a plea, but was found guilty in his absence and fined $2,000 as a general penalty and ordered to pay a mandatory additional penalty of $1,403 plus court costs of $190.85.  
Co-accused Samuel RICCIARDO (33) from Mullaloo entered an endorsed plea of guilty and, like Treble, was also fined $3593.85. He will be required to pay the fines, but was granted a spent conviction. 

Midwest and Gascoyne Compliance Manager for the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Mick Kelly said having bag and size limits form a key part of fisheries management in WA.

“Rules are in place to help maintain the sustainability of Western Australia’s fisheries and the majority of recreational fishers abide by them, so when fishers don’t do the right thing, the large fines that apply send a loud and clear message to deter others from offending,” Mr Kelly said.

Information on rules and limits is available in the Recreational fishing guide, which can be viewed or downloaded at

Call FishWatch on 1800 815 507 to report any suspected illegal fishing activity.

Last modified: 28/06/2018 3:54 PM

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