5 Northland men nabbed in Paua sting
11 February 2009
Five local Northland men will be facing serious charges after fishery officers conducted a surveillance operation targeting paua divers taking excess and undersize stocks on Northland’s west coast, which took place on Thursday 5 February.
In the most serious of the incidents two Hokianga men aged in their 20’s were arrested after running from fishery officers and dumping their illegal catch of paua back into the sea. As a result, the pair have been charged with obstructing a fishery officer, and taking fish contrary to the Fisheries Act, both extremely serious offences.
3 other local Hokianga men aged in their 30’s also face serious Fisheries Act charges after being observed taking 237 paua most of which were undersize.
“What is extremely disappointing is the fact that all involved are local men who are plundering their local paua fishery”, said Darren Edwards District Compliance Manager Ministry of Fisheries, “These fish stocks are coming under extreme pressure and actions like this only takes from not just other people in the community, but future generations”
The public are reminded that the daily bag limit for paua is 10 per diver with a minimum size of 125mm. For more information on all fishing rules and regulations contact your local MFish office or see recreational section.
“Our fishery officers cannot be everywhere and we are appealing to the public to call our 0800 4 POACHER with as much detail as possible should they see any suspicious activity”, said Mr Edwards.