A group of five recreational fishers in East Auckland were caught with more than 45 times the daily snapper limit and are now likely to face prosecution under the Fisheries Act. Their vessel has been sized by Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).
On 12 May, during boat inspections at the Half Moon Bay boat ramp, two MPI fishery officers found the group of fishers with what appeared to be a large haul of fish on board.
“A closer inspection by our fishery officers discovered they had 348 fish. Most (317) were snapper, with a total weight of just under 200kg, and 95 of the snapper they had were undersize,” said Andre Espinoza, MPI’s West North Island regional manager fish compliance.
The daily limit for catching snapper on the East Coast of Auckland in the Hauraki Gulf is seven per person with a minimum size of 30cm.
“We work hard to protect fishing resources so that current and future generations can enjoy catching a feed of kaimoana,” said Espinoza.
“When people take this obviously illegal haul of fish – along with many of them being undersize – they threaten the sustainability of the fishery.
“The rules are there for a reason and when we find evidence of deliberate rule-breaking, you can be assured we will take action.”
MPI encourages all recreational fishers to know the fishing rules and urges Kiwis to call them on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email firstname.lastname@example.org if they become aware of any suspicious fishing activity.