A lineup of Taranaki paua poachers has been hit with fines or sentenced to community work.
One after another, seven men appeared in the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday to plead guilty to breaching the Fisheries Act. In all cases, they were caught with many more paua 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 and the majority between 65mm and 67mm, the court was told.
Judge Allan Roberts told Bunyan the extent of the breach was serious offendingand 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 undersized.
The judge noted the defendant had no ability to pay a fine in the vicinity of $3000.
He rejected a letter that 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 smallest he had were just 54mm.
While Pickering-Casey did not like community work, the reality was that if he committed an offence, 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 undersized.
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.
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 during Christmas.
The judge noted Bannan had no previous convictions and fined him $400 for the excess and $250 for the undersized paua, 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
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