Rock lobster seized in Gisborne
8 August 2007
Gisborne Fishery Officers have seized 50 rock lobsters from the boot of a car, following a two day operation.
Two houses searched during the operation, which also resulted with the seizure of a vehicle and an aluminium boat.
Neville Buckley, Ministry of Fisheries district compliance manager for the East Coast, said that it was likely that the illegal fish had been taken from the Whangara area.
Of the 45 rock lobster seized 42 were under the legal size of 54 mm for male rock lobsters and 60mm for female rock lobsters.
Mr Buckley said there has been declining catches of rock lobster on the East Coast for a few years and tangata whenua, recreational and commercial fishers are working together to rebuild the fishery.
“Blatantly taking far too many fish, mostly undersize, is certainly not going to help rock lobsters rebuild on the East Coast.
“This type of poaching scuppers the good work that the bulk of the fishing community is doing.”
Mr Buckley said that a small quantity of undersize rock lobster were also found at one of the two addresses searched and a $250 infringement notice would be issued to that home owner.
It is unknown at this time whether the fish were for personal use or if they had been taken for sale but enquires into this aspect are continuing.
The operation would be followed up with interviews and it was possible that further homes would be searched, Mr Buckley said.
Anyone wishing to report illegal fishing should call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224).