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Large haul of paua seized in Wairarapa

29 May 2006

Large haul of paua seized in Wairarapa

Fishery officers have seized what they believe to be the largest quantity of illegally taken paua in the Wairarapa in years.

A fisheries patrol early Friday evening uncovered a number of sacks of recently gathered paua concealed at Ngawi beach. Ministry of Fisheries staff apprehended two men late Friday evening as they were leaving Ngawi beach with the paua on the deck of their vehicle. The men were in possession of over 500 paua, 212 of which were undersize.

The minimum legal size for paua is 125mm and the daily quota for recreational fishers is 10 per person.

While inquiries are still continuing, both men are likely to face charges under the Fisheries Act for possessing the excess and undersize paua. The vehicle, a Toyota Hilux estimated to be worth around $8,000, was seized by the Ministry.

Napier District Compliance Manager, Ray McKay, said that it was disappointing that illegal fishing activity on this scale continued, despite the targeted efforts of compliance staff on the Wairarapa coast. “Fisheries rules are there to protect the resource for the whole population,” says Mr McKay. “Those who ignore these rules for their own benefit should be aware that their chances of being caught are high and the consequences serious.”

ENDS

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