Hawke’s Bay divers caught with undersize pāua, rock lobster

A tip to the Ministry of Primary Industries poacher line saw Hawke’s Bay fishery officers catch two divers with 127 undersize pāua and 13 undersize rock lobster.

The two men had been diving on Tuesday afternoon at Mangakuri Beach, about 40 minutes from Waipawa.

Fishery officers received a call to the 0800 4 POACHER phone line about some suspicious activity at the beach, and two officers who had been patrolling nearby inspected the two divers’ catch when they returned to shore.

They found the men in possession of 130 pāua, of which 127 were undersize and 17 rock lobster, of which 13 were undersize.

MPI district team leader for Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa Tyrone Robinson said the poacher line is a vital tool that lets the public report suspicious activity in coastal areas.

“Those resources belong to New Zealanders. We all have a responsibility to act as guardians for future generations, so we are grateful when people play their part by letting us know about threats to the fishery,” he said.

Along with the pāua and rock lobster, fishery officers seized the vehicle and diving gear allegedly used in the fishery offending.

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