CRAYFISH POACHER IN COURT FOR THIRD TIME
8 September 2009
Appearing in the Gisborne Court for the third time for crayfish poaching in less than 18 months, unemployed Harry Junior Sadlier (34) of Anaura Bay lost a second boat and was convicted and sentenced to a further 250 hours’ community work.
Judge Denise Clark convicted Sadlier and forfeited his 3.5-metre aluminium boat, saying he had completed 165 hours of community work from his previous sentence of 250 hours for illegal crayfish earlier this year.
Ministry of Fisheries prosecutor Morgan Dunn told the court that at about 6.30 am on 27 November 2008, Fishery Officers watched Sadlier and another person in a boat at Anaura Bay handling a crayfish holding pot. Sadlier then returned to shore without any crayfish. Fishery Officers later lifted the pot using a fisheries patrol boat and found it contained 45 undersize crayfish and that the pot had been covered in mesh and had no escape gaps.A further mesh-covered rock lobster pot was located close by and contained a further 50 crayfish, of which 41 were undersize.
The limit for recreational fishers is six rock lobsters per day and the minimum measurement 54 millimetres tail width for males and 60 millimetres for females.
Sadlier had changed his plea to guilty on the morning of the defended hearing. In February this year Sadlier received a sentence of 250 hours’ community work for possessing excess and undersize rock lobster and had completed 165 hours of that sentence. In May 2008 he was fined $3,000 and had his boat forfeited to the Crown for taking large numbers of excess and undersize crayfish.
The sentence would effectively bring the number of hours of community work to be completed by Sadlier up to 333 hours.
District Compliance Manager Tom Teneti said, “This sends a clear message that MFish and the courts will not tolerate selfish plundering of the Gisborne East Coast rock lobster fishery. The penalties get more severe for repeat offending.
“We again appeal to the public that if you see suspicious or illegal fishing activity, 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.”