Poachers sentenced

A large number of Taranaki paua poachers have been hit with fines or sent to community work.

One after another the seven men appeared in the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday to plead guilty to breaching  the Fisheries Act.

All were caught with many  more than the legal daily limit of 10 per person and most of their catch was under the legal size of 85mm. 

In the case of David Jacky Bunyan all his 125 paua were  under the legal limit.

The smallest paua were just 56mm while the majority were between 65-67, the court heard.

Judge Allan Roberts told Bunyan the extent of the breach was serious offending. The judge warned he  shouldn't ''chance his arm again''.

Bunyan received 150 hours community work.

■ Hoani Leigh Richard Pickering-Casey had collected only one legal paua.In total he took 129 paua, 128 of which were under-sized.

The judge noted the defendant had no ability to pay a fine in the vicinity of $3000.

He rejected a letter which  said Pickering-Casey  was unaware of the laws.

"Everyone knows there are limits to number and size," the judge said.

Pickering-Casey's offending was also serious, the judge said. The smallest he had were just 54mm.

While Pickering-Casey did not like community work, the reality was if he offended there were consequences, the judge said sentencing him to 150 hours community work.

■ O'Neill O'Carroll and Stacey Tauwehe O'Carroll had 69 paua of which 64 were under-sized.

They told fisheries officers they had gathered the shellfish for family to eat."You don't need me to lecture you but if it was open slather there would be nothing left," the judge said.

Both were fined $650 for the excess and $450 for the undersized paua. They were ordered to pay courts costs of $260.

■ Shad-Lain Malloy Lawrence had 72 paua, 52 of which were undersized.Defence lawyer Jo Woodcock said Lawrence also intended to share  his take with family.

Lawrence could not afford a fine, she said.

He received  100 hours community work.

■ David James Joseph Bannan  had gathered 87 paua, 20 of which were undersized.

Woodcock said Bannan intended to share them with others over Christmas.The judge noted Bannan had no previous convictions, fining him $400 for the excess and $250 for undersized plus $260 in court costs.

■  Layton Kane Horo was caught with 50 paua, 41 of which were undersized.Horo was fined  $950 plus $260 in court costs.

Taranaki Daily News