MFish Wairarapa Roadblocks Net Poachers
11 February 2004
Ministry of Fisheries Fishery Officers stopped more than 180 vehicles in the Wairarapa during the weekend at a number of coastal checkpoints.
As a result of the checkpoint inspections one group is being prosecuted for taking more than three times the recreational limit for paua while six other groups were to receive infringement notices for various breaches of the Amateur Fishing Regulations, relating to paua.
Fishery Officers also found two separate catches of more than 200 paua, which had been dumped by divers who had become aware of the inspections.
Napier District Compliance Manager Ray McKay said it was both outstanding and disappointing that people continued to blatantly flout fisheries regulations, despite the extensive media coverage, and the current Coastwatch programme on illegal fishing currently screening on television.
On a positive note however, he said overall compliance with fishing rules over the weekend had been an improvement on similar checkpoints conducted last year.
"People gathering paua should be making more of a conscious effort to check that the paua are harvesting are 'suitable takers', and having done so, measure them before removing them from the water," he said.
"In this regard the law is clear. All undersize fish must be returned immediately to the sea. People who chose to measure, or say they were going to measure their fish once they leave the water do so at their own peril and cannot expect any sympathy from MFish Compliance staff."
For further information please call
Ray McKay, District Compliance Manager, Napier
Telephone 021 462 315