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Illegal fishers dobbed in by community

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/06/2017

A fishing boat © Getty Images A fishing boat A boat of alleged poachers have been nabbed fishing off Wellington's south coast after being spotted by a "keen-eyed bystander".

The boat was fishing in Island Bay inside the protected waters of Taputeranga Marine Reserve when they were spotted by the bystander, the Department of Conservation says.

"It's a marine reserve for a reason - the boundaries are well marked and it's really important to maintain fish stocks," the person spotting them said.

"What they were doing was brazen and blatant, and it was the second time I'd seen them."

Those on the boat may face charges of taking animals from a marine reserve.

This can bring maximum penalties of up to three months in prison, fines up to $10,000 and the loss of boats and equipment..

The 854-hectare Taputeranga Marine Reserve extends approximately 2.3km off Wellington's south coast and covers the areas around Island, Houghton and Owhiro Bays.

Members of a volunteer group called Friends of Taputeranga Marine Reserve work with DOC to monitor the reserve and run patrols looking for suspicious activity.

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