Paua charges in Wairarapa
3 February 2011
Earlier this week Fishery Officers received information from a member of the public about a group of people stealing paua in the Castle Point area.
At about 9 pm on Tuesday 1 February the officers spoke to a man who was free camping at Whakataki.
The man was found with 145 paua, and now faces serious charges for taking excess and undersize shellfish. The bag limit for paua is 10 per person per day and the minimum size 125 millimetres across the widest part of the shell.
Ray McKay, Ministry of Fisheries Field Operations Manager for the Hawke’s Bay/Wairarapa area, said it was disappointing that this sort of illegal activity was continuing despite strong messages about being responsible in our fisheries this summer.
“We’re going to keep targeting this type of offending,” Mr McKay said. “It’s blatant destruction and spoils things for everyone else doing the right thing and following the rules.”
For serious fisheries offences, fines of up to $250,000 can be imposed together with forfeiture of vehicles and fishing gear.
If you see anything illegal in our fisheries, members of the public are encouraged to call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224). This case was a good example of a vigilant person reporting suspicious behaviour to the Ministry of Fisheries, which led to the apprehension.