Jim Anderton launches Poaching is Theft campaign
Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has today launched ‘Poaching is Theft’, a joint initiative between the seafood industry, government and recreational fishers, which aims to raise public awareness about the impact of the theft poaching of paua and rock lobster (crayfish).
“Everyone is entitled to their fair share of these resources and everyone can play their part to ensure the sustainability of New Zealand’s valuable fisheries. Thieves who line their own pockets with a public resource are decreasing the quantity and quality of legitimate users' catch," Jim Anderton said at the launch at Tarakena Bay in Wellington.
“Fish theft is depleting our valuable fisheries and robbing legitimate users of their fair share. The 'Poaching is Theft' initiative aims to reduce this theft of millions of dollars of illegal fish that is taken from New Zealand’s coastlines every year.
“Communities are deprived of fishing opportunities. Intended fishery management outcomes, customary and amateur fishing success, and commercial property rights are all compromised.
“By complying with the bag and size limits for paua and rock lobster, and reporting suspicious activity, all New Zealanders can help to protect the fisheries for future generations. We want all New Zealanders to have access to a quality catch.”
The Poaching is Theft project was initiated by paua and rock lobster industry leaders who collaborated with recreational fishers and government to ensure sustainability of the marine resource.
The first stage of the initiative involves providing information packs to recreational fishermen, workplaces, pubs, clubs, libraries and information centres about the importance of reporting suspicious and illegal activities.