348 fish found in boat search at Half Moon Bay

Of the 348 fish, most were snapper. Ninety five of the snapper they had were undersize. Photo MPI

MPI fishery officers have caught a group of fishers at Half Moon Bay with more than 45 times the daily snapper limit.

Late last week (May 12) two fishery officers were doing boat inspections at the Half Moon Bay boat ramp. During these checks they found a group of five recreational fishers with what appeared to be a large haul of fish on board.

“A closer inspection by our fishery officers discovered they had 348 fish. Most (317) were snapper, with a total weight of just under 200kg. Ninety five of the snapper they had were undersize,” says Andre Espinoza, MPI’s West North Island regional manager fish compliance.

The five fishers will likely face prosecution under the Fisheries Act and their vessel has been seized by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The daily limit for catching snapper on the east coast of Auckland in the Hauraki Gulf is seven per person with a minimum size of 30cm.

“We work hard to protect fishing resources so that current and future generations can enjoy catching a feed of kaimoana,” Espinoza says.

“When people take this obviously illegal haul of fish – along with many of them being undersize – they threaten the sustainability of the fishery.

“The rules are there for a rea

son and when we find evidence of deliberate rule-breaking, you can be assured we will take action.”

MPI encourages all recreational fishers to know the fishing rules for the area in which they are fishing. “The best way of doing this is to download the NZ Fishing Rules app,” he says,

  • If you become aware of any suspicious fishing activity, call MPI on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email ncc@mpi.govt.nz