Fishery officers have seized a vehicle and 175 undersized paua from two men returning from Akitio Beach.
Officers made the seizure last week after searching the men's vehicle on the outskirts of Dannevirke. Dive gear was discovered in their vehicle along with paua, one of which measured only 39mm. The minimum legal size is 125mm in length. Ray McKay, the ministry's field operations manager for Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa confirmed the men would face charges.
Mr McKay said it was "disappointing" that despite ongoing publicity the public was still not getting the message that such offending could affect the sustainability of the resource.
"With summer almost upon us, fishery officers, including the district's honorary fishery officer network, will start targeting low tides and where blatant offending of this nature is detected, those caught will be prosecuted," he said.
"Rules relating to fishing activity are designed to protect fisheries and it is the responsibility of all New Zealanders to contribute to managing fisheries resources to ensure there is enough fish for future generations."