Paua poach­ers fined

Kapi-Mana News - - COURT/ NEWS -

Three poach­ers were caught twice in one day tak­ing un­der­sized paua from Pukerua Bay.

Al­lan Richard Bowen, 43, Ed­ward Wil­liam Bligh, 29, and Gle­nis Dawn Tipene, 46, were con­victed in Porirua Dis­trict Court last Tues­day.

Bowen and Tipene are from Ron­gotea in Manawatu, and Bligh is from Bulls.

On Septem­ber 3, the group trav­elled to­gether in Tipene’s car to the beach on State High­way 1 just north of Pukerua Bay.

The area is pro­tected from shell­fish gath­er­ing, be­cause it has been over-fished in the past and needs to re­cover.

Bowen and Bligh gath­ered paua and kina by hand and put their catch into two bags, said David Fordyce, lawyer for the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries.

They put one bag in the back of Tipene’s car and left the other by the same po­lice of­fi­cer, who recog­nised their car. The sec­ond sack con­tained 60 kina and 127 un­der­sized paua.

Bowen and Bligh ad­mit­ted div­ing but de­nied know­ing Pukerua Bay was a closed area, Mr Fordyce said.

The group’s lawyer, Jewelly McVay, said her clients were will­ing to pay a fine, but as all were un­em­ployed they could af­ford to pay only $20 a week.

Judge John Walker con­victed all three of pos­sess­ing ex­cess paua and un­der­sized paua.

He fined each $2000 plus $130 court costs.

Bowen and Bligh were con­victed and dis­charged for tak­ing fish from a closed area.

‘‘Tak­ing young paua means the breed­ing pop­u­la­tion is re­duced, and tak­ing more than your fair share is sim­ply not fair on every­body else,’’ Judge Walker said.

Wanted: Po­lice want the pub­lic’s as­sis­tance to find this man.

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