Akaroa paua poachers pinged
17 November 2011
On Tuesday 15 November Fishery Officers observed a group of three men diving for paua near Wainui in Akaroa Harbour.
The Fishery Officers waited for the men to come to shore then searched the area. They found one of the divers in a cave shelling 248 paua, most of which were below the minimum legal size of 125 millimetres.
Field Operations Manager Peter Hyde said a vehicle was seized and the men are likely to face Fisheries Act charges. The maximum number of paua that can be taken by any person on any one day is 10.
“I suspect the paua would have been destined for the black market,” Mr Hyde said. “This is the largest apprehension so far this year and summer hasn’t even started yet.”
Mr Hyde says Wainui has been a problem area for paua compliance. “I have recently recruited an Honorary Fishery Officer who will focus his efforts in this location.
“With the support of local people reporting illegal paua gathering I am sure we will see an improvement in compliance in the not too distant future.”
Members of the public are encouraged to call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) if they see anything suspicious in our fisheries this summer.