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Paua Poachers Out Of Control

9 June 2004

Paua Poachers Out Of Control

New Zealand First is dismayed at the ease with which paua poachers are pillaging the coastline and getting away with it because of ineffective fisheries laws.

Law and order spokesperson Ron Mark is calling on the Minister of Fisheries to quickly review the deficient laws that are making a mockery of the so-called war on paua poaching.

“The Ministry has admitted that tonnes of black market paua are exiting our shores every year to Asia, but successive high profile busts by fisheries officers are failing due to shoddy laws.

“The sad thing is that some species of shellfish are under a very real threat of extinction because of widespread plundering and poaching.

“It’s a sorry sight when you walk along the coast and find thousands of undersize paua shells. These poachers couldn’t care less about the long-term impact on the sustainability of the marine life that they’re pillaging. All they see is the money they can make out of it.

“This is a serious threat not just to the sustainability of our paua stocks, but also to the credibility of the policing of our fisheries laws, and our justice system.

“We are asking the Minister to move quickly to ensure that the law is clear and unambiguous. This is essential if prosecutions pending are to succeed in gaining convictions,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS

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