The Ministry for Primary Industries is reminding people that set nets catch more than fish after finding a dead little blue penguin in an illegally set net in Northland today (20 November).
Fishery officers got a call this morning from a concerned local in Tutukaka about a net that had been set across an entire channel, then left high and dry by an outgoing tide.
Fishery officers removed a number of spoiled fish and a dead little blue penguin from the net. It is likely the little blue penguin was trying to get the netted fish, became entangled and drowned.
MPI District Compliance Manager Stephen Rudsdale said anyone using a set net should be aware of the recreational rules that apply and their responsibility not to waste fish or kill protected wildlife.
"People using set nets need to remember they catch more than just fish. Penguins, shags, dolphins and seals can all find their way into a set net and drown. We recommend people stay with their net if possible to help avoid other animals getting caught."
Mr Rudsdale said fishery officers have noticed an increasing number of illegally set nets in the past few months and is reminding fishers of the rules:
- Set nets must not cover more than one quarter of any waterway
- Set nets must not be left to strand fish by the falling tide
- Set nets must have surface floats at each end, clearly marked with a surname and initial (MPI recommends a phone number).
If you see any suspicious fishing activity call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 4 76 224).
For more information about fishing rules, you can:
- get the rules for your area
- get a rules brochure from MPI offices
- get the free NZ Fishing Rules app – Apple or Android
- send a free text to 9889 with the name of a species – for example "blue cod". You'll be sent legal bag and size limits for that species by return text.
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