Whitebaiters to be under scrutiny
Flout the rules and pay the priceMATT BOWEN
Now's the time for whitebait fishers to start boning up on the rules with the season fast approaching.
A successful prosecution in May was a prime example of someone flouting the rules and paying the price.
A man was caught fishing illegally last season near Port Waikato with two nets and was found to be more than 10 metres from his net.
He pleaded guilty to both charges and was fined $1000 plus forfeiture of the net and $139 court costs.
Department of Conservation spokesperson Chris Annandale said the whitebait regulations haven't changed since 1994 but everyone needs to be aware of the rules relating to net size, where they can actually fish on the riverbank and the need to stay within 10 metres of their net at all times.
The whitebait season extends from August 15 to November 30 in all parts of New Zealand, except the West Coast of the South Island and people caught fishing out of season without a permit, or if any rules and regulations are breached, they face hefty fines. Waikato Tainui manages applications for customary permits.
Fishing is allowed between 5am and 8pm from the start of the season, and then from 6am to 9pm when New Zealand daylight saving time comes into effect.
Illegal equipment or equipment illegally set will be seized by Department of Conservation compliance staff during random patrols.
General information is available at any Department of Conservation office and copies of the regulations are also available online.
DoC will undertake random compliance patrols during the whitebait season to ensure fishers are abiding by the fishing regulations.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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