Poach­ers caught with 1250 paua

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

A group of paua thieves failed to heed the lessons from Op­er­a­tion PAID, the re­cently com­pleted long run­ning paua poach­ing op­er­a­tion where more than 50 of­fend­ers were con­victed and given heavy sen­tences.

Four men were sen­tenced in Welling­ton District Court on June 17 for their part in the poach­ing of 1259 paua late last year.

On the evening of Oc­to­ber 7, 2010, Fish­eries of­fi­cers en­tered a prop­erty in Can­nons Creek where they found 1259 shucked paua weigh­ing about 105 kilo­grams.

Sev­eral men were charged with var­i­ous fish­eries of­fences, some of which in­volved tak­ing paua for sale, which is pun­ish­able by up to five years’ jail and a $250,000 fine for each charge.

Two men were sen­tenced to eight months’ home de­ten­tion and 200 hours’ com­mu­nity work, an­other to five months’ home de­ten­tion and 200 hours’ com­mu­nity work, and the fourth to 300 hours’ com­mu­nity work.

Some in­di­vid­u­als con­nected with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion are still be­fore the court.

A Lao­tian man, who had ad­mit­ted buy­ing the paua for be­tween $15 and $18 a kilo­gram with the in­ten­tion of sell­ing them for $30 a kilo in Auck­land, was sen­tenced in March to 3.5 months’ home de­ten-

Min­iste’r Fish­eries ure ab­ned­sAtqoupa­pceudlt.

Phil Heat­ley tion and 200 hours’ com­mu­nity work.

Min­istry of Fish­eries field op­er­a­tions man­ager Mike Green said it was dis­turb­ing that or­gan­ised crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity in the paua fish­ery was still hap­pen­ing.

‘‘I would have thought that the suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion of Op­er­a­tion PAID in par­tic­u­lar would have put these sorts of crim­i­nals off.

‘‘Ev­i­dently not – we need to steel our­selves to con­tinue the fight and we’ll do ev­ery­thing we pos­si­bly can to stop the thieves.’’

Fish­eries and Aqua­cul­ture Min­is­ter Phil Heat­ley con­grat­u­lated the min­istry team on their re­sult and re­it­er­ated the Gov­ern­ment’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to sup­port its ef­forts.

‘‘These ac­tiv­i­ties must and will be stopped,’’ Mr Heat­ley said.

‘‘The paua fish­ery must be pre­served and the Gov­ern­ment will take all nec­es­sary steps to make sure this hap­pens.’’

The com­mer­cial whole­sale value of paua meat is cur­rently around $130 a kilo­gram.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.