Expensive snorkel for Bay of Plenty men
Not knowing the legal size and daily limit for paua was no excuse for two men who were fined $1500 each in Tauranga District Court today (6/11/2014).
James Francis Grant, 20, of Mount Maunganui, and Marsh Tatarama Pearson, 20, of Tauranga, both pleaded guilty to charges of taking too many and undersize paua.
The men had been snorkelling near the entrance of Tauranga Harbour at the base of Mount Maunganui on 25 September and had gathered 100 paua between them.
The daily recreational limit for paua is 10 per person. All 100 paua were under the minimum size of 125mm.
When their catch was checked by Ministry for Primary Industries compliance officers, both men said they were unaware of the regulations relating to size and daily limit of paua. One of the men’s catch bags had an official paua measurer in it.
MPI District Compliance Manager Waikato/Bay of Plenty Brendon Mikkelsen said ignorance of the rules is not a defence in fishing offences. “It’s a fisher’s obligation to know the rules for the area they are fishing. There are many ways to be informed.”
Information about all limits and sizes, including closures and other rules, can be found on the MPI website www.mpi.govt.nz .
Fishing rules pamphlets are available at MPI offices and at many fishing shops, or text 9889 to have the NZ Fishing Rules App sent to your smart phone.
MPI encourages people to report any suspicious fishing activity to 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224). All calls are confidential.