Snapper poachers

Date: 27/03/2009

Three fishermen who hid 85 snapper under the floor of their 4.3m (14ft) trailer boat had their boat seized and face serious charges under the New Zealand Fisheries Act and Regulations. If convicted, they could face fines of up to NZ$250,000 and have their boat and all fishing equipment permanently forfeited to the Crown. The three were caught during an inspection at Kawakawa Bay, in the Firth of Thames, New Zealand. Fishery officers were shown a chilly bin containing 36 legal-sized snapper. Closer inspection uncovered a hidden flap in the floorboards at the rear of the vessel. Fishery officers removed the floor, uncovering another hidden flap at the front of the vessel. The under floor area was filled with a total of 121 snapper, equivalent of 13 fishers’ legal daily limit. Ministry of Fisheries District Compliance Manager Ian Bright urged anyone seeing any illegal fishing activity to support the work of these HFOs and the Ministry by ringing their popular 0800 4 Poacher number (0800 4 76224).

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