East Coast MFish summer compliance busts
8 December 2008
Two recent MFish compliance busts in the Gisborne region serve as a reminder to the public that if you are illegally taking seafood you will be caught.
Last Thursday a Gisborne man had his Audi vehicle seized after he and two other men, in their mid to late 20’s, were caught with 250 largely undersized paua (the daily limit is 10 per person).
The trio were travelling from Sponge Bay to Gisborne when they were stopped by fishery officers during a summer compliance patrol. The silver Audi was seized and the trio now face charges which hold a maximum penalty of $250,000 and possible forfeiture of the vehicle.
Earlier this month approximately 100 rock lobster (crayfish) pots were checked for compliance by fishery officers during a three-day compliance campaign from Gisborne to Waipiro Bay. Fifty pots were seized for either having illegal escape gaps requirements or being unnamed.
One holding pot, containing almost 300 mainly undersize crayfish, was also seized. The crayfish were released back to the sea and investigations are continuing to determine ownership of the pot.
“Why risk being fined or having your possessions seized when all the information people need is easily available if you are unsure of rules,” says East Coast District Compliance Manager, Tom Teneti.
“You can find out the fishing rules for the area where you fish by contacting your local MFish office or by logging on to our website.
“This all fits into the Ministry’s summer campaign ‘Size Does Matter’, which aims to inform the public about the fishing rules and regulations they need to adhere to while out fishing this summer,” he says.
Those who continue to offend may face a day in court, potential fines of up to 250,000 and the automatic forfeiture of vehicles, vessels and property used in the offending he says.
“The message is clear – abide by the rules, respect our fishery resources and ensure its future sustainability for all New Zealanders,” he says.
If members of the public witness any suspicious or illegal fishing they should contact MFish on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 4 76224).