The Department of Conservation will be hitting Punakaiki beach after reports of people using "kontikis" in the marine reserve.

Kontikis, which are cast from the beach and float out to sea pulling the fishing lines with them, have grown in popularity.

Fishing is allowed off the beach at McMillans Rd, south of Punakaiki township, but banned elsewhere.

However, the kontikis are going outside the fishing area and into the marine reserves.


DoC Buller conservation services manager Bob Dickson said it had received two reports of people fishing with kontikis, both in the Punakaiki marine reserve.

The department is looking to appoint honorary rangers from Greymouth and Westport to police it. It is also working with fishing officers from the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Mr Dickson said kontiki users may not realise how long their lines were.

However, the penalties for fishing in a marine reserve could be severe, and include confiscation if a fisheries officer caught them.

The boundaries of the reserve were clearly shown on signs: "There's no room for ignorance."

- Greymouth Star