Fisheries round up

Two fishers banned, others fined for having undersize pāua and set netting in prohibited area

Two recreational fishers have been banned from fishing, and others handed hefty fines for taking undersize pāua and set netting in a prohibited area

A 45-year-old Hastings man was ordered to do 150 hours community service and banned from fishing for one year. The man was sentenced in the Napier District Court for taking 52 undersized pāua and more than five times the daily catch limit of pāua at the time. The man was stopped at Waipatiki beach in

November 2021 by a Fishery Officer. He refused to have his bag searched and was arrested with the back-up of police. The man was banned from fishing for one year because of previous convictions. The daily catch limit for pāua in this area was 10 at the time he took the pāua, with a minimum size of 125mm.

Meanwhile, a 46-year-old Napier man, with previous fisheries convictions, was banned from fishing for three years for a variety of offences. The man was sentenced in the Napier District Court on charges under the Fisheries Act, including being in possession of 121 undersize pāua and 76 undersize pāua on separate occasions. He was also sentenced for two charges of obstruction – that is, not allowing a Fishery Officer to carry out their job of inspecting the man’s catch, along with failing to attend an interview with a Fishery Officer. The court sentenced the man to three months community detention between 6am and 8pm daily on all charges along with 12 months intensive supervision.

“Previous fisheries convictions caught up with these men and the court banned them both from all fishing. I would expect this should send a strong message to all fishers – stick to the rules and take only what you need for a feed. There are consequences for disregarding the rules,” says Fisheries New Zealand Director of Fisheries Compliance, Steve Ham.

The recreational daily catch limit for pāua in the Central area both fishers took pāua from has been reduced from 10 to a maximum of 5 for each pāua species per fisher. This rule change came into effect from 4 September. The minimum size limit of 125mm remains the same for the Central area.

In other cases, before the Courts, a 34-year-old Northland man was fined a total of $2,300 for taking 36 undersize blackfoot pāua from Tauroa Point, Ahipara in January this year. The man was sentenced on two charges under the Fisheries Act for having over three times the daily allowable limit – the rules in this area still entitle a fisher to 10 pāua with a minimum size of 125mm, per day.

A 58-year-old Auckland man was fined $2,000 in the Manukau District Court for taking 95 fish when set netting in Tamakai River, a prohibited area, in July last year. Most of the fish was parore, along with one kahawai. The daily limit for parore is 20 per person.

“Our Fishery Officers work hard to protect our shared fishing resources so that they’ll remain sustainable into the future – the rules are there for this reason,” says Steve Ham.

And a 50-year-old Lower Hutt man was fined $2000 in the Porirua District Court for being in possession of 176 pāua, when stopped by Fishery Officers in September last year off the coast of Titahi Bay. 175 of these shellfish were shucked and only 20 weighed more than 80 grams – meaning, the remainder were under the legal size of 125mm.

“If you’re unsure of the fishing rules the best way to find out is to download the free NZ Fishing Rules App which you’ll have access to, even in areas where there’s no phone coverage,” says Steve Ham.

Fisheries New Zealand encourages people to report any suspected illegal activity through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ 0800 4 POACHER line (0800 47 62 24).

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