Mfish says fishing infringement fees a fortnight away
1 November 2001
MFish Says Fishing Infringement Fees A Fortnight Away
In a fortnight's time all New Zealanders may be subject to fishing infringement fees if they are found to be outside the recreational fishing laws.
From 15 November, for the first time, Ministry of Fisheries will have the power to impose infringement fees of up to $750.
"The reason for having recreational fishing rules is to make sure New Zealand has enough fish for the future," said Neville Buckley, National Manager, Non Commercial Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries.
"At the Ministry of Fisheries we do our best to make sure that everyone who fishes in the sea knows the rules and sticks to them. But some people don't seem to care. They're the ones who take more than their share and put New Zealand's fish and shellfish stocks at risk.
"For this reason we now have a law which allows MFish to give an infringement fee to people who put themselves first and New Zealand's fish stocks second."
An idea of the new penalty structure is:
- for breaches of shellfish and finfish minimum legal size limits
- for netting and gear offences.
$250 - $500:
- graduated penalties for taking excess bag limits for all species, up to three times the daily limit.
Offences which go to Court:
Some offences will still go to Court:
- the maximum for non-commercial offences has increased from $10,000 to $20,000
- there is a new category, "serious non-commercial offending", where the Court may forfeit fishing related property as well as impose a fine. For example, taking more than three times the daily bag limit is a serious non-commercial offence.
Mr Buckley said people could easily avoid infringement fees by following three simple rules:
- Know marine recreational fishing bag and size limits
- Be sure to know how to measure a catch
- Ask the Ministry of Fisheries for a recreational fishing rules brochure for their area (North, Central, Challenger, South) by:
- Calling 0800 4 RULES (0800 478 537)
- Checking the MFish website at www.fish.govt.nz
For further information please call
National Manager, Non Commercial Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries
Telephone 07 574 5107 or 025 900 634