Illegal Paua Divers Threaten Our Future
Press Release from Te Ohu Kaimoana (The Maori Fisheries Trust)
Headline: Illegal Paua Divers Threaten Our Future
Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Maori Fisheries Trust, congratulates the Ministry of Fisheries on its 12-month operation against paua poachers and illegal divers threatening our important fisheries resource.
"Paua is an iconic Maori food species and an important commercial fishery for iwi and individual Maori quota owners. Poaching paua for commercial gain is stealing from our nation and from the environmental bank account of future generations. Those who are convicted of this offence must face the full effect of our laws," Te Ohu Kaimoana Peter Douglas said.
"Te Ohu Kaimoana has spent years working with commercial fishers to ensure the future of our paua industry. Commercial fishers harvest only selected paua in an area and in a manner that allows for full regeneration of the population. Poachers have no respect for the environment and no respect for sustainability of the fishstocks.
"While Maori are significant and active commercial paua fishers, this species is also an important resource for Maori customary fishing and Maori recreational fishers. Illegal fishers only deprive Maori of our access rights to fisheries. The Ministry of Fisheries has full support from Te Ohu Kaimoana to end all illegal fishing and help create an environment where illegal fishers cannot exploit this resource," Mr Douglas said.