A 40-year-old commercial fisherman was last week fined for fishing in a marine reserve.
Dwane Marcel Wood was fined $700 for taking marine life, namely two blue cod, from a marine reserve at Ulva Island Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve on July 27.
The summary of facts says staff on the Department of Conservation boat Hananui noticed a 20-foot boat named Sea Hawk in the Ulva Island marine reserve and a person was seen fishing from the boat.
A warranted DOC officer dispatched a dinghy and spoke with Wood, the sole occupant of the boat, who was in possession of 23 blue cod and two trumpeter fish.
He said he had been fishing in the reserve for about 15 or 20 minutes and had caught two blue cod, the summary says. The other fish were caught in a different location away from the reserve and five of the cod were under size, it says.
Wood said he was aware there was a marine reserve in Paterson Inlet but did not realise it was in the location where he was fishing, the summary says.
The Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve was established in 2004 and is 1075 hectares in size.
Information on marine reserves is available on the DOC website or office.
Marine reserves are special areas where all marine life is fully protected. It is an offence to remove anything from a reserve.
- The Southland Times