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Napier fishers found with undersized paua

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/12/2016

Fisheries officers seized 573 illegally caught, undersized paua from recreational fishers near Napier on Friday.

At least eight people are likely to appear in court on various charges and three cars have been seized as a result of the operation at Tangoio Beach by Ministry for Primary Industries officers.

Team manager Eastern and Lower North Island Mike Green said only two of the paua found on those breaking the law were legally sized.

"These incidents are very disappointing. People are continuing to flout the law despite knowing the rules and regulations around catch sizes and limits," he said.

"What people need to realise is their illegal actions have a detrimental impact on paua stocks as well as the availability of paua for future generations."

Mr Green said what had started as a routine day on Friday quickly became busy as the fisheries officers dealt with at least five separate incidents.

This included a man who attempted to speed off from officers but crashed into a nearby caravan.

The Fisheries officers returned all undersized paua to the sea but said unfortunately some may have been out of the water too long to have survived.

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