Police find sacks of undersized paua in cave

Senior Constable John Singer said police and Fisheries officers discovered the seafood in a cave on Blackhead Beach during checks following reports from local residents.
Senior Constable John Singer said police and Fisheries officers discovered the seafood in a cave on Blackhead Beach during checks following reports from local residents.

Several sacks of undersized and shucked paua has been discovered in a cave on the Hawkes's Bay coast.

Senior Constable John Singer said police and Fisheries officers discovered the seafood in a cave on Blackhead Beach during checks following reports from local residents of suspicious vehicles and activities.

He said a vehicle was stopped leaving the beach following reports that three people were seen carrying sacks believed to be full of seafood.

Two people in the vehicle were spoken with and a third person was spoken with on Blackhead Beach.

Singer said the find is believed to be part of a commercial operation and an investigation is now underway.

The find included sacks containing 39 undersized paua and 16 shucked, and undersized, paua.

One person was arrested on matters unrelated to the recovery of the paua.

Singer said the find followed a separate event at Kairakau Beach where four people were spoken to and 97 paua were seized by staff.

Ninety four of the paua were undersized.

Six undersized rock lobster were also seized.

All four people spoken to face prosecution.

Singer said there has been an increase in illegal fishing on the coast following the recent good weather and clearing sea conditions.

He urged residents and beachgoers to report all suspicious activity to the Ministry of Primary Industries on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- NZ Herald

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