Paua at Kawerua Beach, north of Dargaville, have been under pressure again with fishery officers finding gatherers this week with many times more than the daily limit of 10 paua per person.
A Hokianga man wasn’t pleased to see fishery officers and threatened to “smash” them when they asked to check his catch.
He had 56 paua, 53 of which were under the minimum size of 125mm.
Another Hokianga man had 83 paua, 66 of which were undersized.
Ministry for Primary Industries District Compliance Manager Northland Steve Rudsdale said there is little tolerance for threats and aggressive behaviour towards fishery officers.
“Fishery officers used their powers to place the man under arrest, but his behaviour meant he wasn’t taken into custody. Police accompanied fishery officers to the man’s house the following day to take him into custody for processing.”
Both men are likely to face serious fisheries charges.
Mr Rudsdale said it was very disappointing to see local people abusing a paua resource that is highly valued by the local community.
“We need the locals to be our eyes and ears and let us know when they see suspicious activity. It’s a great help in dealing with this type of illegal fishing and protecting the future of the paua in the area.
Call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) or your local MPI Office 09 4700580 (Whangarei) or 09 408 6024 (Kaitaia). All calls are confidential.