Two men have been convicted and fined for collecting undersized paua at Tora.
In Masterton District Court on Monday, Carterton man George Hui Hingaia, 33, and Judas Whaiora Crawford, 29, of Martinborough, pleaded guilty to collecting 65 undersized paua from the coastal settlement on March 3 last year.
The pair's lawyer, Frank Minehan, said they had applied for a permit to collect the shellfish for a whanau member's 50th birthday celebrations.
However, the measuring instrument they had been using had been defective, Mr Minehan said.
The undersized paua were still alive and were put back into the sea, Mr Minehan said.
"They were not dead.
"They were, I'm instructed, able to be put back into the ocean so that future generations could enjoy these wonderful creatures."
Mr Minehan asked that Judge Barbara Morris take these mitigating circumstances into consideration in sentencing.
Judge Morris convicted and fined each man $1200.