Gisborne man sentenced to 250 hours community work for plundering crayfish
11 February 2009
An unemployed Gisborne man Harry Junior Sadlier, 34 from Anaura Bay, was convicted and sentenced to 250 hours community work for possessing 28 crayfish, of which 6 were undersize, at Gisborne District Court on 2 Feb 09.
Appearing before Judge Spear the court heard that on 6 August last, fishery officers set a roadside checkpoint at the bottom of the Anaura Bay hill, Anaura Bay. When Sadlier saw the checkpoint he stopped about 150 metres away and began to turn around. However he was quickly apprehended and a search of his vehicle found 28 live rock lobster, six of which were undersize.
In court Sadlier explained that he thought he could take six rock lobster for his mother and brother who were passengers in the vehicle but had not been involved in the taking of the crayfish on the vessel. However Judge Spear said he did not believe what Mr Sadlier said.
“Mr Sadlier had previous convictions for similar offences” said MFish Senior Fisheries Prosecutor Morgan Dunn, "some of which were as recent as last year”. After his most recent previous conviction Sadlier had been fined $3000 and lost his fishing vessel.
“The sentence of 250 hours is a significant penalty for recreational offending” said District Compliance Manager Tom Teneti, “This sends a clear message that MFish and the courts will not tolerate selfish plundering of the Gisborne East Coast rock lobster fishery”
Harry Junior Sadlier had been charged for possessing more than 3 times the daily limit of rock lobster and possessing undersize rock lobster. The limit for recreational fishers is six rock lobster 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.
“We again appeal to the public that if you see suspicious or illegal fishing activity to please call our 0800 4 POACHER line. Provide us with as much detail as you can so that we can catch, charge and prosecute those who want to plunder our marine resource and steal from us all and future generations”, said Mr Teneti.