Crash halts paua poachers

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 15:37 24/05/2012

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If they had avoided a minor car crash, a pair of paua poachers may have got away with their large and illegal haul.

On December 20, security officer Raymond Stuart Jenkins, 52, and farm worker Aaron Craig Jarvis, 36, headed to Flat Point Beach in Wairarapa.

The Palmerston North poachers gathered 70 paua, above the legal limit of 10 each.

As the Palmerston North District Court heard today, the pair were heading home with their catch, but their progress was halted when they were involved in a collision with another vehicle.

Police attended and found the haul in two backpacks.

Ministry for Primary Industries prosecutor David Fordyce said Jarvis had already been sentenced to 150 hours' community work for taking too many paua and taking undersized paua.

Jenkins' lawyer Simon Parsons said his client accepted his wrong-doing, but had not understood the regulations governing shellfish gathering.

Judge Gregory Ross said ignorance was no excuse.

"Anybody who goes about shell fishing must know of the limits in terms of numbers and also in terms of size,'' the judge said.

"Those engaged in an amateur sense must be knowledgeable about their limits.''

Jenkins was fined $1500. The poachers' backpacks were confiscated.

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- Manawatu Standard

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