• John Luxton
Fisheries and Aquaculture

The people caught with a boot load of frozen paua this morning should face the full might of the law if found guilty of poaching, new Minister of Fisheries, Hon John Luxton said today.

Paua poachers should pay a high price for their greedy and selfish behaviour. They are stealing a valuable resource off the community, and also commercial fishermen who have a legitimate right to harvest paua, Mr Luxton said.

The Ministers comments follow two Auckland men being apprehended in Levin today with 240kg of frozen paua in the boot worth about $12,000. It is suspected the paua has been obtained illegally.

My job is to ensure that we manage and utilise our valuable fisheries resource in an ongoing, sustainable way, so that our children can also enjoy its benefits.

Poaching does not help sustainability. Poachers know this but still choose to flout the law that is there for all New Zealanders benefit, he said.

If found guilty poachers can face fines up to $250,000 and forfeit property used in committing the offence.

I personally hope that these people are prosecuted and the full force of the law is applied if they are found guilty of poaching , Mr Luxton concluded.