Ministry for Primary Industries honorary fishery officers (HFOs) caught a woman with 30 undersized snapper at Little Huia on the Manukau Harbour on the weekend (11 April).
The HFOs were inspecting the catch of land-based fishers on Saturday evening when they spoke with a fisher who claimed to have only one fish in her bucket. When they opened the bucket the Officers discovered 30 undersize snapper.
The largest of the Snapper in the bucket was 22cm long. The minimum size for snapper in this area is 27cm, with a maximum limit per day of 10 snapper.
The fisher said she was catching the snapper to use it for bait.
MPI District Compliance Manager Mike Simmons said this incident was a blatant disregard of the fishing rules.
“Minimum sizes and daily bag limits are set to ensure the sustainability of the fishery for all, in years to come. It was great work, in the dark by the officers who detected the offending.”
The fisher is likely to face fisheries charges with a maximum penalty of up to $10,000.
Honorary fishery officers are uniformed and trained volunteers who assist fulltime officers in education and compliance with recreational fishers. There are 220 HFOs based around New Zealand.