Recreational fishers fined about $4,000 over long weekend in the Coromandel
Over Labour Weekend, recreational fishers around the Coromandel Peninsula were fined about $4,000 for various fisheries-related offences including gathering crayfish that were carrying eggs.
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) fishery officers uncovered the offending while out on patrol on land and at sea on both the west and east coast of the peninsula.
Spokesman Jason Howat says around 400 recreational fishers were subject to inspections and some paid the price for committing a range of offences.
"In general, compliance with fisheries regulations was high, with fishers playing their part in protecting the fishery by sticking to the rules.
"However, 14 infringements were issued for offences ranging from undersized fish (snapper), excess and undersized pāua, undersized scallops, undersized crayfish, and taking crayfish that were carrying eggs.
"In a more serious incident, a recreational fishing boat was boarded at sea by fishery officers in Opito Bay in the early evening. The inspection revealed 132 scallops, 52 of which were undersized.
"As a result, the vessel and the dive gear used in the offending was seized and 1 person will face prosecution action."
Mr Howat says MPI fishery officers are always out and about over Labour weekends so people who breach fisheries regulations will be caught.
"The result of the weekend's patrol sends a very clear message. People who choose to break the rules will be dealt with accordingly. There's not an endless supply of fish in the sea. We all need to do our bit to protect the sustainability of our fisheries for current and future generations and for the health of the fishery in general."