Fishing when banned, taking undersize pāua, scallops, excess rock oysters and kina earn community detention and fines

Successful prosecutions by Fisheries New Zealand have seen a banned fisher put on community detention, another fisher ordered to do community work and several others fined for having excess shellfish.

“Our message is simple – know the rules when fishing, stick to the daily limits and minimum size and you’ll be doing your part in keeping our fisheries sustainable into the future. The potential consequences of not following these simple rules are not worth it,” says Fisheries New Zealand Acting Director of Fisheries Compliance, Niamh Murphy.

A 59-year-old Porirua man has been put on six months community detention for fishing when he was banned, after being sentenced in the Hutt Valley District Court. In April 2021, the man was caught by a Fisheries Officer with dive gear on at the water’s edge in Eastbourne, Wellington about to go diving for seafood, despite having been reminded that he was banned from fishing about

two months earlier. The man had 19 previous fisheries convictions, and this was his third conviction for breach of a prohibition order.

A 36-year-old Wellington man was sentenced to 100 hours community work and a 24-year-old man also from the capital, was fined $1500 for their part in possessing 441 undersize pāua taken from an area near Mana Island off the Kapiti Coast in February 2021. They were sentenced in the Auckland District Court. Two other members of the group who had a total of 472 pāua when their catch was inspected by Fishery Officers are still before the court.

A 29-year-old Whangarei man and a 22-year-old man also from Whangarei have been ordered to do 60 hours community work each for taking 95 scallops from Urquharts Bay in Whangarei Harbour. They were diving about 100 metres from the shoreline in November 2021 and had their dive bag inspected by a Fishery Officer, shortly after they’d finished. 73 of the scallops were undersize and at the time the men were entitled to 20 scallops each. Both men were sentenced in the Whangarei District Court.

A 62-year-old Auckland man has been fined $1,727 in the Manukau District Court for taking 1727 rock oysters from the Oruarangi Creek in Mangere in August last year. The daily limit in the Auckland Coromandel area per person is 100.

A 41-year-old Auckland man has been fined $600 in the Manukau District Court for taking 195 kina from Mellons Bay. The daily limit in that area is 50 per person.

“If you’re unsure of the fishing rules the best way to find out is to download the free NZ Fishing Rules App. Even if you are fishing in an area with limited phone coverage, it will still work,” says Niamh Murphy.

MPI encourages people to report suspected illegal activity through the Ministry’s 0800 4 POACHER number (0800 47 62 24)

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