A Pukekohe man was sentenced today (13 February) to community service and had another person’s car confiscated for taking over 200 paua from the Tairua area on the Coromandel Peninsula.
Jarvis De Thierry, 25, earlier pleaded guilty at Pukekohe District Court to three charges under the Fisheries Act 1996 relating to possessing excess and undersize paua and also possessing paua for the purpose of sale.
He was sentenced to 175 hours community work. His dive gear and the car that was used in the offence, which belonged to someone else, were also forfeited to the Crown upon conviction.
Recreational gatherers can take 10 paua per person per day. The minimum length is 125mm.
A Ministry for Primary Industries compliance officer and two honorary fishery officers (HFOs) stopped Mr De Thierry on the Coromandel Coast, north of Tairua, in May 2014.
The officers located a pack in the car containing 211 paua, all of which were undersized.
Mr De Thierry had no explanation for his illegal catch, other than claiming they were to feed his family.
In an interview with an MPI officer he admitted he had previously sold paua in the Pukekohe area.
MPI Compliance Manager for Waikato/Bay of Plenty/ Coromandel District Brendon Mikkelsen says paua is a highly valued resource and it is very disappointing that some peoples’ actions puts its future sustainability at risk.
Mr Mikkelsen says the patrol was targeted within an area of the Coromandel that has come under pressure from paua thieves.
“We will maintain our enforcement in this area and deal with the people who have no regard for the rules”.
Mr Mikkelsen says compliance officers are well supported locally by the Coromandel Peninsula based honorary fishery officer (HFO) network. The HFO network help ensure the local fishery is protected from paua thieves, as in this case.
People can report any suspicious fishing activity or illegal sales to 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224). All calls are confidential.
For media inquiries please call:
MPI Media Phone 029 894 0328 or firstname.lastname@example.org