Waikanae man uses scuba to plunder paua stocks
A 61 year old Waikanae man will face serious charges laid under the Fisheries Act after being found with over 250 paua at Makara Beach late last week.
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Field Operations Manager, Mike Green, from the MAF Petone Office, said Fishery Officers observed the man acting suspiciously in a bay just south of Makara Beach and located a large sack of shucked paua concealed in long grass nearby.
Mr Green said an aggravating factor in the find was that the man had been using Scuba equipment to take the paua.
It is illegal to take or be in possession of paua using scuba equipment.
“A lot of the larger, breeding paua, which is generally out of reach of snorkellers, will have been taken, affecting future paua stocks,” said Mr Green.
“It is particularly disappointing to see that the laws designed to protect the fish stocks for all users are being flouted in this way.”
The man could face penalties of up to five years imprisonment, and fines of up to $250,000.
Fishery Officers ask the public to report any suspicious activity in our fisheries by phoning 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224).
Scuba tank on beach.
Sack containing paua hidden in grass.
Paua from sack.