First big paua bust in Canterbury this year
11 January 2010
On Friday night last week Christchurch Fishery Officers apprehended two men with 216 paua in their backpacks.
The men had been diving in the Boulder Bay area where the paua had been taken and the meat removed from the shells. They were stopped by Fishery Officers at the Godley Head carpark where their packs were searched and the paua was located.
The maximum number of paua permitted to be taken by any person on any one day is 10.
Ministry of Fisheries Field Operations Manager Peter Hyde said this was the first significant apprehension for the year in the Canterbury region and a prosecution was likely.
“We have had Fishery Officers working over the holiday period and apart from this incident the levels of compliance have generally been very good,” Mr Hyde said. “Unfortunately this summer we have had a lot of wind and poor visibility in the water which has restricted recreational fishing and diving activity.”
The latter part of January and February is when paua poachers are often active. Members of the public are encouraged to call 0800 4 POACHER to report suspicious fishing activity.
Community vigilance has played a big part in helping Fishery Officers catch fish thieves around the country this summer. The Ministry of Fisheries has been promoting this with the idea of “4 million guardians”, part of its summer awareness campaign.
Every Fish Counts. He kaitiaki tätou katoa