MFish introduces new paua friendly plastic fishing knife
11 March 2009
The Ministry of Fisheries has introduced a new plastic paua knife to help divers take paua from rocks without injuring them. The tool was developed in conjunction with the Paua Industry to improve the survival rates of paua which are returned to the ocean, the knife also has a built in paua measurer.
10,000 of these prototypes have been made and will be distributed by fishery officers and honorary fishery officers out on patrol.
“This new plastic paua knife and measurer is a great new tool for protecting our paua fisheries and we are delighted to be able to provide it to paua divers”, said Andrew Coleman National Manager of Fishing Compliance.
“We want to work with divers to ensure that paua is returned to the ocean in the best possible shape and is more likely to survive”
“You will be able to get one from our fishery officers and honorary fishery officers who will be out around the country providing advice and support on its use to fishers” he said.
Paua bleed profusely and their blood doesn’t clot which can lead to premature death. Metal fishing knives and screwdrivers are often used to take paua from their bedding on rock; this can injure the paua, often fatally. This specially designed knife can be slid gently under the paua to break the suction without injury. This means divers can return undersized paua without injury by placing them back on the rock where they were found if, after measuring, it is found they are too small.
“We hope that fishers use this tool to ensure we protect our precious paua stocks for future generations. We also want to remind fishers that the daily catch limit is 10 paua per person per day”
“If any member of the public see suspicious or illegal fishing activity we would appeal to them to contact our 0800 4 POACHER hotline” said Mr. Coleman.