A Wellington paua-poaching and black market operation was busted by the Fisheries Ministry. The eight-week operation ended with raids on homes and business premises in Wainuiomata, Miramar, the Hutt Valley and Opotiki. Fisheries officers seized 200 kilograms of frozen paua, four cars, a van, three freezers, wetsuits, diving equipment and an undisclosed amount of money. Much of the paua was undersized, and with a retail value of $100 a kilogram the haul had an estimated value of $20,000. Convictions under the Fisheries Act carry a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.