Early in January Fishery officers caught four men at Whangara, north of Gisborne, New Zealand with more than 100 undersize paua and scuba diving equipment. It is illegal to dive for paua with scuba gear and it is also illegal to be in possession of both paua and scuba gear. MFish East Coast District compliance manager Neville Buckley said fishery officers searched a van that had got stuck in soft sand on the beach at Whangara and found a haul of 104 undersize paua. The four men were interviewed and will face serious fisheries charges and the potential forfeiture of the scuba gear and van. The paua were returned to the sea. Penalties are set at a maximum of $250,000 with forfeiture of vessels and vehicles possible to reflect the importance of protecting our fisheries.