Wairarapa fisheries breaches stay on par

By Nathan Crombie nathan.crombie@age.co.nz -
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A pile of more than 300 paua shells and guts found dumped at the Colombo Rd netball courts last month. PHOTO/FILE
A pile of more than 300 paua shells and guts found dumped at the Colombo Rd netball courts last month. PHOTO/FILE

Wairarapa fisheries officers have been uncovering catch limit breaches on par with other years during regular coastal patrols, since completing a major operation late last year.

Ray McKay, Ministry of Fisheries field operations manager for Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa, said the two fisheries officers posted in Wairarapa were reinforced with officers from neighbouring regions when needed and had been ticketing people over the summer months for infringements related to excess and undersize paua and crayfish.

"There's been no operations as such besides regular patrols to various beaches on the Wairarapa coast that resulted in some minor breaches and the odd prosecution.

"Just prior to Christmas they were out at Te Whaiti and went as far south on a quad patrol as Ngawi. But, by and large, there have been no major seizures. It's just been amounts of paua and rock lobster that have resulted in the issuing of infringement notices and warnings.

"They were mostly only small interceptions, nothing major, although there was one case of 140 paua, where the guy gave false details. He's being prosecuted."

Mr McKay said there had been reports of lower than usual paua takes ahead of Christmas that had been blamed on prevailing weather patterns during the pre-Christmas operation.

He was aware of the 300 undersized paua shells and guts that were found dumped at the Colombo Rd netball courts last month.

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