Wellington men caught with significant haul of illegal Paua
6 June 2012
Two Porirua men were caught by fisheries officers late last week at Titahi Bay Beach with an illegal haul of 364 paua.
Fishery officers observed the two men from land before intercepting them at sea where the men tried to dump the illegal haul overboard.
The men, a forty-two year-old and a thirty-seven year-old, had their dive gear and boat seized by fisheries officers.
Ministry for Primary Industries, Wellington District Compliance Manager, Mike Green says that it’s really disappointing when people do not comply with the catch limits or fisheries regulations.
“Nearly all of the three-hundred and sixty four paua seized were undersized and this is a real frustration because it can have harmful effects on future paua stock in the area,” says Mr Green.
“It is also unfortunate in this case that the vessel used appears to be jointly owned by an unrelated party. MPI frequently seize vessels, vehicles and dive equipment which have been used in the course of offending which are owned by a third party. In most cases these items are not able to be returned to their rightful owners for several months, if at all.”
The national paua limit is ten paua per person per day. Blackfoot paua must be a minimum of 125 millimetres for consumption nationally (excluding some areas in the Taranaki region).
The men could individually face penalties of up to five years imprisonment, and fines of up to $250,000.
“It is important to comply with catch limits as this increases species sustainability and ensures future fish stocks for generations.”
Fishery officers ask the public to report any suspicious activity in our fisheries by phoning 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224).
Go here for further information about recreational fishing limits.
For media inquiries please call:
Sara Stavropoulos, Senior Communications Adviser
Telephone: 04-894 3411 or 021 224 5369
or call the MPI Media phone 029 894 0328