The Department of Conservation (DoC) has quashed a rumour circulating in Hawkes Bay promoting an "open fishing day" at Te Angiangi Marine Reserve today.

Te Angiangi Marine Reserve is a no-take zone at all times and cannot be fished by law.

"This is totally untrue," Bay conservation service manager David Carlton said of the rumour. "All marine reserves are absolutely 'No Take Zones' at all times and anyone caught trying to fish or take shellfish within a marine reserve boundary will be prosecuted. Nothing can be removed from a marine reserve."

Marine reserves are sometimes targeted by unscrupulous fishers hoping for an easy take.


Mr Carlton said such types were tempted to try their luck at this time of year and potential offenders needed to know the reserve would be closely monitored during the holiday period and they should understand the consequences if caught poaching.

DoC had nine successful prosecutions last month for offending in the reserve, with other prosecutions pending.

Offending in a marine reserve carries a maximum penalty of a fine of up to $10,000 or three months' imprisonment.