Fishery officers seize $15,000 boat after illegal Crayfish take
17 February 2009
Fishery officers seized a $15,000 boat last Friday, 13 February in Wanaka after an initial search by honorary fishery officers found the two divers using the boat had taken 41 rock lobster, nine of which were below the minimum legal size limit. The initial inspection was conducted by a Haast based honorary fishery officer after the boat returned to the Whakapohai River south of Lake Moeraki.
“We are delighted with the work that was being conducted by our West Coast honorary fishery officers,” said District Compliance Manager, Peter Hyde. “They provide an essential service as they are based close to where fishing activity takes place, which gives us the ability to respond when the weather and sea conditions are favourable and recreational fishers are active.”
“We will be looking to recruit a few more honorary fishery officers along the West Coast in the coming months to assist us in protecting our wonderful marine resources,” said Mr Hyde.
The crayfish limit for recreational fishers is six rock lobster per fisher, per day. The same regulations also state that rock lobster must measure 54mm tail width for male and 60mm tail width for female rock lobsters.
Mr Hyde said that apart from this incident, the behaviour of recreational fishers in South Westland has generally been very good with minimal problems. He said most divers and recreational potters have been enjoying very good rock lobster fishing.
“Fishery officers have almost completed their enquiries and it is likely charges will be laid” he said.