Greedy paua fishers the exception to Hawke’s Bay summer
9 April 2009
Honorary Fishery Officers seized several hundred paua in routine patrols of Central Hawke’s Bay beaches last weekend.
The seizures included 177 paua at Mangakuri and a further 55 undersize paua at Blackhead Light. Napier Fishery Officers also apprehended another fisher last week with 80 paua. “This total disregard of fisheries rules and the depletion of paua stocks it causes will not be tolerated,” said Napier District Compliance Manager Ray McKay. “Both groups will face prosecution for breaches of Fisheries legislation.”
However, Mr McKay believed a good number of Hawke’s Bay fishers had respected the rules this summer.
“The number of fishers caught flouting the rules this summer was down on previous years,” he says. “But we are still concerned at the large quantities of paua, including undersized, that we have seized from some groups of fishers.”
While recreational fishing will continue as long as favourable weather and sea conditions prevail, Easter Weekend traditionally marks the end of the summer recreational season in the Hawke’s Bay area.
“Fishers can expect to see a visible presence of Fishery Officers patrolling local beaches over Easter,” Mr McKay said. “We want everyone to enjoy their fishing this weekend, but those who are considering ignoring fishing rules for their own benefit should be aware that they will be caught and punished.”
Mr McKay said the Easter patrols would also involve a number of Honorary Fishery Officers. “These people have given their time over the summer months on a voluntary basis, and have done an excellent job of protecting Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa fisheries,” he said.
Fishers are reminded to check the fishing rules before they go out – either by visiting the Ministry of Fisheries’ website or by calling their local Ministry of Fisheries’ office.
If members of the public witness any suspicious or illegal fishing they should contact The Ministry of Fisheries on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 4 76224).