Northland fishers apprehended
09 November 2010
Late last week Fishery Officers assisted by Kaeo Police apprehended two local residents after a day’s fishing in the Te Ngaere Bay area.
The men were found to have 269 kina, a number of undersize paua, 124 fish of varying species, 22 rock lobster and two illegal fishing nets. The limit for kina is 50 per person per day and for rock lobster 6 per person per day. The limit for paua is 10 per person per day and they must measure at least 125 millimetres across the widest part of the shell.
The men’s fishing boat and a 4x4 vehicle were seized, and serious charges relating to breaches of the Fisheries Act will be laid.
If they are convicted, their boat and vehicle would be forfeit to the Crown and the men would face penalties of up to $250,000 in fines. One of the men would also be banned from carrying out any fishing activity for three years.
Darren Edwards, Ministry of Fisheries Northland Field Operations Manager, said daily bag limits, size and fishing method restrictions are there to make sure we have enough fish for the future.
“Offending on this scale strikes at the core of trying to maintain a sustainable fishery,” Mr Edwards said. “This summer the Ministry is promoting the theme of ‘4 million guardians’ of our fisheries. People like these men couldn’t care less about that and it’s up to us – Fishery Officers supported by responsible members of the public – to make sure they don’t get away with this sort of pilfering.”
Fishery Officers will be out patrolling throughout the summer months, but they can’t be everywhere. Members of the public are encouraged to report any activity they think may be suspicious to the Ministry of Fisheries on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224).
He kaitiaki tätou katoa