Ministry for Primary Industry officers inspected the catch of over 450 recreational fishers in the Firth of Thames, Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty over Labour Weekend, discovering a range of infringements.
Eighteen MPI officers were active in the area on Sunday and Labour Day Monday (26 and 27 October) and handled the following issues:
- 14 infringement notices for taking too many paua or kina, or taking undersized paua. These infringements resulted in instant fines totalling $5500.
- 10 warnings regarding undersized snapper, scallops and crayfish.
- Charges are likely to be laid over one incident of taking too many paua and undersized paua.
- Charges are likely to be laid over one incident of taking too many pipis and cockles.
Further north in the Hauraki Gulf, MPI officers seized a boat when the fishers were found with three times their daily limit of mussels. These fishers will face charges in Manukau District Court.
MPI officers were busy on the Hauraki Gulf inspecting catches and reminding people about the recreational snapper regulations. One group of fishers are likely to face charges for keeping undersize snapper.
Ministry for Primary Industries District Compliance Manager North Harbour Mike Simmons says the Labour Weekend inspections from Bay of Plenty to the North Harbour targeted low tide gatherers, boat ramps and used one roadside check point in the Coromandel.
“The warmer months are a popular for fishing and a great time for MPI staff to be out there talking to fishers and reinforcing the recreational fishing rules.”
“It’s a fisher’s obligation to know the rules for the area they are fishing. Ignorance is not a defence, as there are many ways to be informed.”
Information of all limits and sizes including closures and other rules can be found on the MPI websitewww.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.