Wairarapa Fishery Officers intercept illegal paua
14 September 2011
Earlier this week Wairarapa Fishery Officers seized a motor vehicle and a quantity of paua from two Palmerston North men on the outskirts of Dannevirke as the men returned from Akitio Beach.
A search of their vehicle on Monday afternoon revealed a total of 175 undersize paua and some dive gear. The smallest paua weighed only 39 grams.
Ray McKay, Ministry of Fisheries Field Operations Manager for Hawke’s Bay and the Wairarapa, said that two men would face charges under the Fisheries Act 1996.
Mr McKay said it was disappointing that despite the ongoing publicity that this unlawful activity attracted in the media, some sections of the public were still not getting the message that taking such large quantities of paua could seriously affect the sustainability of the resource and contribute to localised depletion in these areas.
“With summer almost upon us, Fishery Officers, including the district’s Honorary Fishery Officer network, will start targeting low tides and where blatant offending of this nature is detected, those caught will be prosecuted,” he said.
“Rules relating to fishing activity are designed to protect fisheries and it is the responsibility of all New Zealanders to contribute to managing fisheries resources to ensure there is enough fish for future generations.”
The daily bag limit for paua is 10 per gatherer per day and the minimum size is 125 millimetres in length.
Members of the public should call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) if they see anything suspicious or illegal on or near our beaches.