Warn­ing to poach­ers

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

A Porirua man, with pre­vi­ous fish­eries of­fences, was con­victed in court last week af­ter plead­ing guilty to il­le­gally tak­ing marine life from the Ta­put­eranga Marine Re­serve off Welling­ton’s south coast.

Ne­naia Fiu, was fined $1000 plus court costs of $132.89.

‘‘It is a se­ri­ous mat­ter. Marine re­serves are there for a pur­pose and fish­ing in a marine re­serve is not ac­cept­able,’’ said Judge Mill. ‘‘ It is com­mon knowl­edge that this area is a [marine] re­serve’’.

Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion Kapiti Welling­ton area man­ager Rob Stone said this was the first pros­e­cu­tion since the es­tab­lish­ment of the re­serve in Au­gust 2008, fol­low­ing a pe­riod of dis­cus­sions with the pub­lic.

‘‘We wanted to make sure we had a case that was re­ally solid and would stick.’’

He said in­ci­dents of al­leged of­fend­ing had been lower than an­tic­i­pated and that this was en­cour­ag­ing.

‘‘ Even though the re­serve is still young we ex­pect to see in­creases in fish size and abun­dance in com­ing years. This may in­crease the temp­ta­tion for peo­ple to take il­le­gally and we are pleased a clear mes­sage has been sent that of­fences in the Ta­put­eranga Marine Re­serve will not be tol­er­ated.’’

Un­der the Marine Re­serves Act those found fish­ing (in­clud­ing any at­tempt to take) or re­mov­ing marine life from the re­serve could be li­able for a prison term up to three months and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

DOC ad­vises that any sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity within the re­serve should be re­ported to the DOC Hot­line on 0800 362 468.

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