Saturday, April 13, 2024

Pāua fishing ban reminder for Kaikōura

With the recreational pāua fishing season in Kaikōura opening this month, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura have issued a reminder that the taking of pāua or any other fishing is banned inside Hikurangi Marine Reserve.

DOC is stepping up shore and boat patrols of Hikurangi Marine Reserve, about 10km south of Kaikōura township, to stop the illegal taking of pāua from the marine reserve during the 15 April to 15 June pāua fishing season.

DOC says the move is aimed at avoiding a repeat of people taking pāua from the marine reserve during the last recreational pāua fishing season that ran as a trial from 1 December 2021 to the end of February 2022.

DOC Kaikōura Marine Reserves Ranger, Roger Williams says infringement notices with $600 fines for fishing in the marine reserve could be issued, as needed.

“DOC and Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura are concerned about the harm to Hikurangi Marine Reserve’s pāua population from illegal gathering, as occurred during the last recreational pāua fishing season. It is also damaging to the recovery of its marine ecosystem to a more natural state after more than seven years of protection,” he said.

“We increased our DOC ranger presence at the marine reserve last pāua fishing season and we’re doing it again this time. We’ve also put in more signs along the marine reserve’s shoreline to ensure people know it’s a marine reserve, with no fishing allowed, as many people last year seemed unaware of it.

“Hikurangi and other marine reserves are strictly no-take areas with no fishing or disturbance of marine life allowed. Anyone going fishing must ensure they know the rules and abide by them, including knowing marine reserve locations and rules.”

People can download the MarineMate app that includes information about marine reserves and information can also be found on our website  

Anyone who breaks the rules in marine reserves faces fines through infringement notices. Serious or repeating offending may result in prosecution with penalties under the Marine Reserves Act of a fine of up to $10,000 and up to three months in prison. Fishing gear used in the offending may be forfeited.

People who see illegal fishing taking place in marine reserves are asked to report it to DOC’s 24-hour number 0800 DOCHOT/0800 36 24 68.

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