Maketu Taiapure excess mussel sentencing

Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

A Papamoa man was fined $750 and $130 Court costs in Tauranga District Court in June for his part in taking too many mussels from the Maketu Taiapure area. The Maketu Taiapure area has a reduced quota for the harvest of green-lipped mussel to a daily limit of 25 mussels per person per day.

Kevin Winston Wagstaff, 48, pleaded guilty to taking more than 3 times the daily recreational limit for green-lipped mussels. Mr Wagstaff was in a group of 3 divers that were stopped by Fishery officers in January this year. The group possessed a combined total catch of 355 mussels. Two other men in the group have already been dealt with by the court.

The reduced limit for green-lipped mussel from 50 to 25 per person per day was introduced in the Maketu Taiapure area in October 2013 in an effort to reduce the threat of unsustainable harvesting. The daily limit outside of the Maketu Taiapure area is 50 per gatherer, per day.

MPI District Compliance Manager Brendon Mikkelsen says it is disappointing that these divers targeted an area that is being managed to conserve the local mussel stocks.

MPI encourages people to report any suspicious fishing activity to 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224). All calls are confidential.

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