Large paua haul retrieved after series of seizures by Fishery Officers
25 November 2008
A large haul of illegal paua has been seized in the Hawkes Bay area by Ministry of Fisheries fishery officers over the past number of weeks following a series of seizures during patrols. The seizures resulted in the capture of over 1200 illegal and largely undersized paua.
Fishery officers made three separate seizures where considerable quantities of paua were found.
In once case a group of divers had their vehicle seized at Ocean Bay near Hastings when they were found with 562 paua, 463 were undersized. Five people are set to face charges for the offence.
During a patrol in central Hawkes Bay two people were apprehended by fishery officers at Blackhead beach and were found to be in possession of 522 paua, most of which was undersized. As a result their vehicle was seized and both will now face charges.
Fishery officers are also continuing ongoing enquiries into 173 paua found abandoned on Blackhead beach. One person is currently facing charges for causing obstruction by failing to stop for a fishery officer. The vehicle used in the obstruction has also been seized.
“While its hugely disappointing to see the considerable damage these people have done in exploiting our fishery, it shows that fishery officers are apprehending those who continue to break the rules”, said Ray McKay Ministry of Fisheries District Compliance Manager.
“I hope the apprehension of these divers serves as a deterrent to anyone planning on plundering our fisheries resources and anyone considering taking illegal seafood should remember – if you offend you will get caught” Mr McKay said.
With summer approaching, fishery officers will be lifting their presence on the beaches in the recreational fishery to ensure that the public adhere to the rules.
At the same time, the public are reminded that fishery officers cannot be everywhere and if any suspicious activity is seen we would encourage them to contact the Ministry of Fisheries on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476224).