Beach patrol traps toheroa trio
24 September 2008
Three Northland men were sentenced this week in the Dargaville and Kaikohe District Courts after being caught by fishery officers with 320 toheroa.
Tapuae Christie, 35, John Tukaki, 54 and David Tutahi, 35, all of Kaikohe, were convicted of taking more than 50 toheroa last September.
The trio were stopped by fishery officers during a beach patrol at Ripiro Beach, Dargaville last September after they had driven from Kaikohe to Dargaville to collect the Toheroa.
Toheroa is a prohibited shellfish, with the last open season being held in 1981.
Christie was fined $800 plus Court costs of $480.
Tutahi was sentenced to 100 hours community service, and Tutaki was fined $1,000 and Court costs of $350.
“Whilst it is extremely disappointing to know people are still willing to take toheroa even though there has not been an open season since 1981, it is extremely reassuring to know that the Courts are supportive by handing out harsh punishments for those who do offend,” says District Compliance Manager, Darren Edwards.
Fishery officers cannot be everywhere and the public are reminded that if they see any suspicious activity that they should contact the Ministry of Fisheries on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476224).