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Whitebait case should be a warning: DOC

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/04/2017

A woman's conviction for whitebait offences should deter other people from breaking the rules, the Department of Conservations says.

Alyssha Blackler was convicted on two charges of fishing from a raft on the Cam River, at Kaiapoi, in August and ordered to pay $1000 in fines, together with court costs.

An order was also made in Christchurch District Court for forfeiture of her whitebait net.

DOC Mahaanui/Christchurch operations manager Andy Thompson says the fines are significant and should serve as a warning that the department takes compliance seriously.

"This case makes it clear that fishing from a vessel or raft is completely unacceptable," he said.

"We were alerted to this by a member of the public and we appreciate hearing from whitebaiters who are concerned about the behaviour of others."

Whitebait are juveniles of five species of native fish: giant kokopu, banded kokopu, shortjaw kokopu, inanga, and koaro.

Four of the species are categorised as either threatened or at risk due because of declining numbers and habitat.

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