Shellfish poachers fined
Three men have been convicted and fined thousands of dollars for taking excess and undersized shellfish in the Coromandel recently.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Fishery Officers made three separate prosecutions in the Otama Beach and Sailors Grave areas.
Whitianga man, Kenneth Blackmore and South Auckland man, Melvin Henry, were on separate occasions found guilty of taking undersized paua. They were each fined $1,250 and had their dive gear forfeited to the Crown.
David Short, from Tairua, pleaded guilty to taking 118 green lipped mussels from the Otama Beach Reserve and was fined $450 plus court costs and also had to forfeit his dive gear.
MPI District Compliance Manager for the Bay of Plenty/Waikato, Brendon Mikkelsen said these cases should be a ''sobering reminder'' to those who ignore the limits.
"It's great that the majority of recreational fishers take care and responsibility in their fishing activities, and also take pride in playing their part by sticking to the rules," says Mr Mikkelsen.
"We ask the public to report any suspicious activity in our fishery by phoning 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224). The assistance of the public by reporting suspicious or illegal activity to fishery officers is a key element in protecting our fishery.''
For information about recreational fishing limits visit www.fish.govt.nz.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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