Snapper stash could lead to charges

Last updated 17:58 28/04/2014

MASS CATCH: Two hundred snapper were found underneath the floorboards of a recreational boat at Kawakawa Bay boat ramp.

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Three Auckland fishermen could be in deep water after fisheries officers found more than 200 snapper stashed under their boat's floorboards.

A Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) spokesman said the three men - aged 33, 38 and 39 - could face serious charges.

The large stash of snapper was found during a routine inspection of fishing boats at Kawakawa Bay, southeast of Auckland, on Anzac Day.

Of the 234 snapper found on board, 114 were under size.

Compliance officers seized the men's boat, trailer and car.

MPI North Harbour district compliance manager Michael Simmons said the fisheries officers did a great job to find the fish.

"The blatant disregard for both the size and quantity of illegal fish taken by these fishermen places a huge strain on the survival of the snapper fishery."

Fisheries officers also caught four shellfish gatherers with 1016 cockles at Kawakawa Bay the same day, he said.

The maximum daily allowance for four people is 200.

Simmons said the group was also likely to face charges.

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- Fairfax Media

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