Rock lobster fishers apprehended in Napier
13 December 2010
Two men were apprehended by Fishery Officers at the Napier hovercraft ramp early this morning and found to be in possession of 44 rock lobster, many of which were undersize. The pair had been observed at 1 am spotlighting on Town Reef off the Napier Port.
The men were later stopped by Fishery Officers when they returned to the boat ramp shortly before 3.16 am in their aluminium boat and with their very small rock lobster. They were also found in possession of a 60-metre fishing net, along with its catch and a near new rock lobster pot.
Ray McKay, Field Operations Manager for Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa, said that at this time of the year, the Napier Ministry of Fisheries office received many calls from disgruntled fishers, who, after going to sea to check their rock lobster pots or nets in this area, find they were unable to do so because other fishers had either moved them to other locations or stolen them together with any fish caught in this gear.
Mr McKay said that while theft of fishing gear was not a fisheries matter, Fishery Officers worked closely with Police on these cases.
“In both instances, Fishery Officers were able to contact their rightful owners and have the fishing gear returned to them,” Mr McKay said.
He said that Fishery Officers in the Wairarapa had also been kept busy over the weekend and last night seized 262 undersize paua near Martinborough. The Napier case showed how Fishery Officers are on call around the clock.
For the rules relating to rock lobster, go here.
Members of the public should call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) if they see anything suspicious or illegal on our beaches this summer.
He kaitiaki tätou katoa