Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) fishery officers caught a group of recreational fishers with nearly 5 times the legal limit of snapper yesterday, 10 March 2021.
Four MPI fishery officers were on patrol aboard the vessel Kaitiaki II when they discovered three men who were moored inside a mussel farm near Kawakawa Bay in the Firth of Thames, south of Auckland.
Officers inspected their catch and found the 3 men in possession of 99 snapper. One was undersize, and officers also found one undersize kingfish in their catch.
The daily limit for snapper in this area is 7 per person.
"This is a large amount of snapper. The rules are there for a reason – to ensure sustainability of the fishing resources so that everyone can have the opportunity to put kaimoana on the table," says MPI district team leader fish compliance, Glen Blackwell.
"These fishers had far more than their daily share."
Meanwhile, their vessel was seized and the 3 fishers are likely to face prosecution.
MPI encourages people to report suspected illegal activity through the ministry's 0800 4 POACHER number (0800 47 62 24).
Recreational fishers are encouraged to download the free NZ Fishing Rules app