Auckland fishers caught with 45 times daily snapper limit

Source: 1News

A group of fishers in Auckland have been caught with more than 45 times the daily limit of snapper.

The group of five were caught by two fishery officers on Thursday last week with 348 fish, 317 of which were snapper.

The daily limit for catching snapper in the Hauraki Gulf on Auckland's east coast is seven per person and the smallest the fish can be is 30cm.

The fishers' haul weighed in around 200kg and the Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) Andre Espinoza said 95 of the 317 snapper were undersized.

The fishery officers had been doing boat inspections at the Half Moon Bay boat ramp in East Auckland when they spotted the group with a large haul of fish.

Espinoza said it is likely the fishers will be prosecuted under the Fisheries Act. Their boat has also been seized.

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

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