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Two North Shore men pay the price for fishing in a reserve

DOC Media Release
March 9, 2012

Two North Shore men pay the price for fishing in a marine reserve

Two North Shore men caught fishing illegally in an Auckland marine reserve have had to complete 12 hours community work and pay the Department of Conservation (DOC) $500 each.

It’s illegal to take, or attempt to take, any marine life from a marine reserve.

Two DOC rangers saw the men, aged 51 and 56, fishing from a boat inside the Long Bay-Okura Marine Reserve in May last year.

The rangers spoke to the pair when they pulled their boat out of the water at a nearby boat ramp.

When asked if they were aware they had been fishing inside the marine reserve the skipper of the boat said he had taken care to stay outside the reserve. He produced a laminated map of the reserve.

DOC was able to prove the pair had been fishing inside the reserve using photographs and GPS technology.

In December both men admitted in the North Shore District Court that they had breached the Marine Reserves Act 1971 by unlawfully taking marine life from a marine reserve.

Following these admissions they have spent 12 hours cleaning up the beach at the Long Bay-Okura Marine Reserve where the offences occurred. They have also each paid $500 to DOC and submitted a written apology for their offending.

Marine reserves protect areas containing underwater scenery, natural features and marine life of such significance that their continued preservation is in the national interest.

“Marine reserves exist to protect marine areas that have distinct features that warrant preserving,” says DOC Marine Ranger Martin Stanley.

“They also enable the marine life in the reserve to live in their natural state.”

“Fishing in a marine reserve will not be tolerated and anyone caught doing so will be taken to court,” says Martin Stanley.

The Long Bay-Okura Marine Reserve was established in 1995 largely due to a community driven effort led by the East Coast Bays Coastal Protection Society. The society saw the need to have the area protected in its natural state as a typical slice of the Hauraki Gulf . Its importance as an educational resource was recognised with the establishment at Long Bay of the Marine Education and Recreation Centre.

ENDS

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