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3 Kaitaia poachers take 174 undersize paua

Wed, 8 Sep 2004

3 Kaitaia poachers take 174 undersize paua

When Ministry of Fisheries Fisheries Officers apprehended three Kaitaia men on 31 August, they found them in possession of 194 paua, of which 174 were undersize.

The Fisheries Officers were on regular patrol in the Tauroa Reef area near Ahipara, when they spoke to the men, and searched their vehicle, revealing three dive sacks containing large quantities of paua.

One bag was found to contain 104 paua, of which 91 were undersize, another contained 48 paua, of which 43 were undersize, and the third bag contained 42 paua, of which 40 were undersize.

Each of the men will be charged with serious fisheries offences and face fines of up to $20,000 each plus the forfeiture of their vehicle.

Ministry of Fisheries District Compliance Manager, Northland, Dave Turner, said that yet again, local people had been apprehended, who seemed to believe they have a right to plunder paua stocks in circumstances apparently showing personal greed as the motivating factor.

"To take 174 undersize paua shows an arrogant attitude and a total disregard for the future of the paua stocks in this area," he said. "These men will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and the Ministry of Fisheries will be seeking heavy penalties."

The daily individual limit for paua is 10 per person, with a minimum size of 125mm.

ENDS

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