21.3 C
Sunday, May 28, 2023
HomeAustraliaBlue groper killed by spearfisherman who posed with the protected fish at...

Blue groper killed by spearfisherman who posed with the protected fish at Hungry Point, south Sydney


Nauseating photo of a spearfisherman proudly posing with a protected species sparks outrage. Here’s how he reacted when he realized what he’d done

  • Spearfisherman depicted with killed blue groper
  • Catching the protected fish can result in a $22,000 fine

A spearfisherman has caused a stir after he killed a protected species and fled the scene when he realized he could be fined.

The man was proudly pictured holding a blue groper he just caught off the coast of Hungry Point, at the entrance to Port Hacking in southern Sydney.

When he found out he could be fined $22,000 for spearing the iconic animal, the man left.

The blue grouper has been the state’s official fish since 1996 and has protective status and laws prohibiting the creature from being caught commercially or by spearing.

The fish are known to be non-aggressive and curious, making them an attraction for divers and snorkelers as they regularly approach humans without attacking.

A spearfisherman fled Hungry Point, in southern Sydney, after being told he could be fined $22,000 for impaling a protected and beloved blue groper (pictured)

The spearfisherman’s photo was taken by a local resident who was with her son who was also fishing.

“I took a picture, when I didn’t realize what had killed him,” she shared The leader.

The resident then claimed that he “left pretty quickly” after she informed him of the possible $22,000 fine for killing the fish.

“Perhaps there should be signs at Hungry Point for spearfishers who don’t know, or who need to be reminded what the law says they can and can’t kill.

Tragically, it would be too late for this gentle giant.

“It’s a pity there weren’t any licensing officials around.”

An irate social media user commented on the topic, saying, “Assholes like him are making me sick, find him and fine him. Look how smug he looks.”

“Imagine posing proudly with something you could grab with your bare hands,” wrote a second.

“I’ve never spearfished a day in my life and I know it’s illegal to shoot a blue grouper… It’s like shooting a plank of wood. They don’t move,” wrote a third.

One user countered, writing “yeah, you… may not spear them, but get a grip, folks, there are millions of groupers in the water (they’re) totally out of control.”

“I fish for it all the time because there are pest ratios,” the person admitted.

1683193025 81 Blue groper killed by spearfisherman who posed with the protected

Blue gropers are protected from commercial and spear fishing in NSW and can result in a $22,000 fine and or six months in jail (stock image)

Gropers cannot be fished commercially or spearfished, and “can only be legally caught on line in NSW,” said a NSW Department of Primary Industries spokeswoman.

“Recreational anglers have a minimum size limit of 30cm and a bag limit of two (with only one fish larger than 60cm).

Penalties may include a $500 on-the-spot fine per violation for grabbing a probe by any means other than a line or handline, possessing a prohibited size, or exceeding the baggage limit.

“Maximum prosecution penalties for an individual are $22,000 and or six months in jail for a first violation of size and baggage limits, and $11,000 for unlawfully grabbing groper.”

According to the Australian Marine Conservation Society, ‘threats to blue gropers mainly come from fishing and the harvesting of aquatic resources’.

“Blue gropers are an important species for maintaining balance in their ecosystem by controlling the numbers of other animals such as crabs and sea urchins,” the website reads.

‘In the past, the Eastern blue groper was caught in great numbers by spear fishermen.

As a result, the species was protected with spearfishing banned in New South Wales waters in 1969. Concerns about large catches by commercial fishermen banned the eastern blue groper in 1980.’

The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

Latest stories