Largest Haul of Undersize Paua in Hawkes Bay This Year
19 November 2010
Fisheries Officers and Police yesterday seized what they believed to be the largest quantity of undersized paua taken by the Ministry of Fisheries in Hawke’s Bay this year.
Five hundred and fifty five undersized paua and a 4x4 vehicle were seized when Ministry of Fisheries staff and Police from Waipukurau and Porangahau apprehended three divers at Mangakuri Beach following a call from a concerned member of the public. Another call relating to the same activity was received on Friday morning via the Ministry of Fisheries’ 0800 4 POACHER line.
Ray McKay, Ministry Field Operations Manager in Hawke’s Bay /Wairarapa, said that only 21 of the total catch of 576 paua were of legal size. In addition to the paua, eight very small rock lobster were also seized.
Mr McKay said he was disappointed that despite the publicity this sort of unlawful activity attracted in the media, some people were still not getting the message that the taking of such large quantities of paua could seriously affect the sustainability of the resource and contribute to localised depletion.
“With summer almost upon us, Fisheries Officers, including the Honorary network, will start to target the low tides throughout the district and where blatant offending of this nature is detected, those caught will be prosecuted.”
Mr McKay said the Ministry was grateful for the information it received from concerned members of the public regarding illegal fishing activity and encouraged them to use the Ministry’s confidential 0800 4 POACHER line (0800 476 224) where they suspected any illegal fishing activity.
“Rules relating to fishing activity are designed to protect fisheries and it is the duty of all New Zealanders to help ensure that there are sufficient fish for future generations – we are all guardians,” he said.
The daily bag limit for paua is 10 per gatherer per day and the minimum size limit is 125 millimetres in length.