Ministry of Fisheries Operation Proves Immediate Success
3 November 2003
A Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) operation aimed at increasing public awareness of fisheries-related offending in the Banks Peninsula area has proved an immediate success.
Last week, three teams of Fishery Officers visited many bays in Banks Peninsula, handing out newsletters and related information as part of Operation Contact.
On Friday evening Fishery Officers became aware of some suspicious activity in the Onuku area, near Akaroa township and, together with local police, stopped a vehicle attempting to leave the area.
They found the two occupants of the vehicle in possession of approximately 250 shucked paua, far above the legal daily limit of 10 paua per person. On examining the paua, a significant number were found to be under the legal size limit of 125mm.
Two men spoken to in relation to the paua made admissions about illegal taking. The paua and the mens' vehicle were seized, and charges will be laid in this matter. If convicted under the Fisheries Act 1996, the men could face maximum fines of $250,000 and forfeiture of the vehicle.
Christchurch District Compliance Manager John Slaughter said he was very pleased with the Banks Peninsula public's reaction.
"To catch two paua poachers highlights the issues we face," Mr Slaughter said. "Other information has been received as a result of the operation, and we intend to keep an active involvement in the Banks Peninsula area over the summer months."
Mr Slaughter said all information in relation to fisheries offences and general queries were welcome and suggested the public make contact with MFish by telephoning its
0800 4 POACHER hotline.
For further information please contact
John Slaughter, District Compliance Manager, Ministry of Fisheries, Christchurch
Tel 0274 914 397