Fishers caught with 45 times daily snapper limit

MPI says the fishers are now facing prossecution. File photo.

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

During boat inspections at the Halfmoon Bay boat ramp in East Auckland on May 12, a group of five recreational fishers were found 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," says Andre Espinoza, MPI's West North Island regional manager fish compliance.

He says 95 of the snapper they had were undersized.

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

The daily limit for catching snapper on the East Coast of Auckland in the Hauraki Gulf is seven7 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.

"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.”

MPI encourages all recreational fishers to know the fishing rules for your area. The best way of doing this is to download the NZ Fishing Rules app.

If you become aware of any suspicious fishing activity, call us on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email

NZ Fishing Rules mobile app

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Posted on 19-05-2022 17:51 | By morepork

I’m glad you got a smile from my post and I know very well you were not advocating execution. It was just to make a point. If the Law is TOO absolute, it may not be enforceable. Remember that statues of "Justice" have scales in one hand and a sword in the other. I didn’t see the article that said they knew the rules, but I agree with you that that changes it. Justice should be waving her sword more when people are selfish and greedy.

Prosecution Not Execution

Posted on 19-05-2022 14:23 | By Yadick

Morepork, your response gave me a good laugh. Another article I read states that they knowingly took the fish despite our rules. Good grief, I’m talking prosecution not execution. My sincerest condolences re Aunty Mary, talk about OTT. :-) I do hear you and agree though.


Posted on 18-05-2022 13:21 | By morepork

"End of story?" If the Law adopted the same Black and White attitude you seem to be exhibiting, we would probably execute anyone who broke the Law. "Where’s Auntie Mary?" "Oh, she parked illegally; the funeral’s on Thursday..." Our Laws try to see beyond that and exceptions and mitigations are possible, depending on cases. Would you seriously object to an Education program in the Language of ethnicities found to be offending, which seeks to include them into our society, but makes clear where the lines are? The Law IS the Law and we all agree about wet bus tickets, but it is only fair to ensure that EVERYBODY knows the rules. These guys lost their boat and it serves them right; but we should be sure we have understood WHY they offended and acted to prevent it. If it was simply greed, THEN throw the book at them...


Posted on 18-05-2022 09:01 | By Yadick

Absolutely appalling and I don’t care what culture they are. NZ has our rules, end of story. I would however like the co-ordinates for their fishing spot. Great spot.


Posted on 17-05-2022 13:03 | By morepork

While greed is a fact of life there are other possible explanations also. In some cultures (with a very large population) it is accepted that you take a resource while you can, because, if you don’t, someone else will come along and do it. Obviously, here in NZ we don’t ascribe to that idea, but maybe there is a case for better Cultural Education (in a Diverse society like ours) to make it clear that it will not be tolerated. Meanwhile, confiscation of boats is a good message to send...


Posted on 17-05-2022 11:52 | By Galvo

How could 5 idiots think of having that much fish, utterly disgusting, hope the fish was distributed out to the homeless shelters

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