Heavy penalty for paua offences
11 February 2005
Stephen John Goodhue pleaded guilty in Waihi District Court on 9 February to two blackfoot paua offences arising out of an incident at Whangamata on 28 October 2004.
Mr Goodhue was apprehended at Whangamata harbour in possession of 53 paua, which is more than five times the legal daily limit of 10. He also had in his possession underwater breathing apparatus. These are offences under the Fisheries (Amateur Fishing) Regulations 1986
This quantity of excess paua was outside that which can be dealt with by infringement notice and had to be progressed through the courts. The severity of this offending was reflected in the penalty handed down.
The penalties for this type of offending range up to a maximum fine of $20,000 on each charge plus forfeiture of gear used in the commission of the offending.
Mr Goodhue was fined $800 on each charge. His four-metre aluminium boat valued at $3000 plus dive gear to the value of $2000 was ordered forfeit by the court
Fishery officer George Ririnui commented that he was happy that the level of penalty imposed in this matter and that it should act as a deterrent to any other fishers considering offending in this manner.