Calls to MFish 0800 4 POACHER hotline rise by 38% in December
23 January 2009
The number of phone calls to the MFish 0800 4 POACHER hotline rose by 38% in December 2008. The hotline is a dedicated line allowing the New Zealand public to report suspicious or illegal fishing activity around the country.
In December 2007 there were 131 logged calls to the hotline compared to 181 in December 2008, showing a 38% increase. Logged calls to 0800 4 POACHER are calls which have sufficient detail to pass on to a district office for attendance, follow up or intelligence.
“The 38% increase in calls to 0800 4 POACHER shows our message is getting through to the public, we need their help in stopping greedy fishers plundering our fisheries,” said Andrew Coleman, MFish National Manager of Compliance. “It also sends a clear message to those who are illegally fishing or who intend to do so, we will catch you, we will charge you and you will be prosecuted.”
When calls are made to the hotline MFish staff log the calls that have sufficient detail to warrant a call out to local fishery officers. The fishery officers will either investigate the call immediately, follow up on the detail, or it can be added to intelligence on an existing investigation.
“We would like to thank all the members of the public who rang 0800 4 POACHER over the summer period to inform us of illegal activity. By acting as our eyes and ears on the ground you enable us to catch poachers who otherwise could continue to steal from us all,” said Mr Coleman.
This hotline is for reporting suspicious or illegal fishing activity only. Members of the public who may have any queries relating to other aspects of fisheries such as rules or regulations should visit fish.govt.nz or call their local MFish office. The MFish public awareness summer campaign ‘Size Does Matter’ has been focused on getting the public to support MFish in stamping out illegal fishing.
“0800 4 POACHER is for reporting illegal or suspicious activity only. If you do see something please call us with as much detail as you can get and we will catch those poachers who want to steal from us and future generations” said Mr Coleman.