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Anderton launches Poaching is Theft campaign

Anderton launches Poaching is Theft campaign

Fisheries Minister
Jim Anderton with Lobsters
Click to enlarge

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has today launched 'Poaching is Theft', a joint initiative between the seafood industry, government and recreational fishers, which aims to raise public awareness about the impact of the theft poaching of paua and rock lobster (crayfish).

"Everyone is entitled to their fair share of these resources and everyone can play their part to ensure the sustainability of New Zealand's valuable fisheries. Thieves who line their own pockets with a public resource are decreasing the quantity and quality of legitimate users' catch," Jim Anderton said at the launch at Tarakena Bay in Wellington.

"Fish theft is depleting our valuable fisheries and robbing legitimate users of their fair share. The 'Poaching is Theft' initiative aims to reduce this theft of millions of dollars of illegal fish that is taken from New Zealand's coastlines every year.

"Communities are deprived of fishing opportunities. Intended fishery management outcomes, customary and amateur fishing success, and commercial property rights are all compromised.

"By complying with the bag and size limits for paua and rock lobster, and reporting suspicious activity, all New Zealanders can help to protect the fisheries for future generations. We want all New Zealanders to have access to a quality catch."

The Poaching is Theft project was initiated by paua and rock lobster industry leaders who collaborated with recreational fishers and government to ensure sustainability of the marine resource.

The first stage of the initiative involves providing information packs to recreational fishermen, workplaces, pubs, clubs, libraries and information centres about the importance of reporting suspicious and illegal activities.

Photo jpeg attached - Launch of the 'Poaching is Theft' campaign at Moa Pt in Wellington, with the Minister of Fisheries, Jim Anderton


Background Information:

How do you help stop fish theft?

If you see someone:
Taking over their daily limit
Taking undersized fish
Undertaking suspicious activity
Offering you cheap paua or rock lobster (crayfish), especially if its for cash
Report them: Call 0800 4 POACHER - remember: Poaching is Theft

The Ministry of Fisheries will use all information reported. They may have a compliance officer on hand who can respond immediately or the information will be added to their file for the area. This information will be used to plan operations that will net the poachers.

Every call will be attended to and acted upon and any information provided will remain confidential and can be supplied anonymously.

In the event of a prosecution, members of the community are being encouraged to fill in a Victim Impact Statement – because it is everyday New Zealanders who are the victims of this crime.

What happens if a 'couple extra' or undersize paua or crays are taken?

With over 800,000 recreational fishers in New Zealand, if everyone takes a 'few more' than allowed, the numbers soon add up. The limits have been set carefully to ensure that the maximum number can be taken without harming the resource – even one or two more could have an effect on the resource.

If undersized paua or rock lobster are taken, they cannot complete the breeding cycle. By taking or buying undersized fish the resource is being robbed of babies and young mothers. By sticking to the rules and taking a stand against those that are abusing the system everyone can help to protect these resources for the future.


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