Enquiries follow Southland paua shell find
2 December 2011
Southland Fishery Officers are making enquiries following the discovery of a stash of 161 undersize paua shells hidden in bushes on a park reserve in South Invercargill earlier today.
A member of the public uncovered the find of several plastic shopping bags containing the paua shells near the Ness and Earn streets intersection.
Field Operations Manager Reece Murphy said the very fresh state of the paua shells suggested they had been dumped there no more than one or two days earlier.
“All of the shells have been identified as being undersize, with the smallest measuring less than 90 millimetres in length,” Mr Murphy said.
The prescribed daily limit for paua is 10 for each fisher physically involved in their taking and the minimum legal size for ordinary paua is 125 millimetres in shell length.
Mr Murphy said the incident was disappointing and those responsible were selfishly plundering a shared national resource and needed to be held to account. “Put simply, poaching is theft,” he said.
Fishery Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the shopping bags with the shells being discarded or from anyone who has information which may help them with their enquiries.
Mr Murphy said we are all guardians of our fisheries resources and with the summer weather now here, he encouraged members of the public to assist in the ongoing effort to curb illegal fishing activity.
“Anyone witnessing any suspicious or illegal fishing should contact MAF on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224),” he said. “All information is treated in the strictest confidence.”