Help sought on potential fish abandonment

Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is seeking public information about a potential fish-abandonment incident at Waikawau Bay on the Thames Coast of Coromandel Peninsula.

Residents at Waikawau Bay reported dead fish washed up near the boat ramp on Tuesday 29 September. The fish were found at around 6am that morning and it is suspected the fish either washed up or were abandoned shortly before then.

MPI District Compliance Manager Brendon Mikkelsen said when Fishery Officers arrived, there were about 100 whole fish including kahawai, snapper, but mostly parore were found. All fish were between 200mm and 300mm in length.

Mr Mikkelsen said Whitianga based fishery officers have been talking to commercial fishers in the area as part of the investigation and are appealing to the public for any information they might have.

“Anyone with information that might be useful please call our hotline 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224). All calls are confidential.”

Mr Mikkelsen said all avenues will be investigated, including analysis of the sample of fish. “The specimens will tell their own story”. They will be analysed for net marks and any other potential causes.

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