Fishery Officers and Honorary Fishery Officers were busy all weekend checking that fishers were complying with the new regulations for the Kaikoura Marine Area.
The new rules are the result of years of work by Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura (Kaikoura Coastal Marine Guardians) and came into effect in August 2014.
Ministry for Primary Industries District Compliance Manager Nelson/Marlborough Ian Bright said people are getting to grips with the new regulations, but there is still room for improvement.
“Community leaders have worked hard to get these local regulations in place and we are very keen to support them. Local Honorary Fishery Officers put in a huge effort over the three days. They give up their own time to protect the fishery for others, and they do a great job.”
The focus was on shore-based gathers along the north and south coasts, and also vessel inspections taking place at the Kaikoura boat ramps, as boats returned from fishing.
Summary of activity over the Labour Weekend:
- Saturday: 42 inspections; 7 offences
- Sunday: 35 inspections; 6 offences
- Monday: 33 inspections; 14 offences
The main issues were unclipped telsons on crayfish as per the new regulations and undersize paua.
Find out more about the new crayfish regulations
Mr Bright said gatherers need to remember that once they put paua in their catch bag, the paua are classed as taken, or in their possession.
“Divers cannot bring excess/undersize paua ashore and claim they haven’t taken them until they come off the beach.
“Divers should gather their 6 paua, measure as they gather, count as they gather, double check before they exit the water, as possession of more than 6 paua in a catch bag is a breach of the regulations and will be dealt with accordingly.”
Mr Bright said the Kaikoura coast is famous for its seafood, and staff and Honorary Fishery Officers will be working hard this summer to make sure it stays that way for future generations.
To report suspected illegal fishing activity 0800 4POACHER (0800 47 62 24). All calls are confidential.