Coromandel poachers busted after 'legend' intervenes as locals say issue reaching new heights

  • 17/03/2024

Three alleged poachers could face legal action after being busted by locals taking 60 undersize pāua from the Coromandel coast.

It comes after numerous reports of poaching activity off the Tairua and Pauanui coasts in recent days.

"Made these guys put back a bunch of 2" paua north end of Tairua this arvo... oblivious to any size limits," one local wrote along with photos of the alleged poachers on Tuesday.

In another post, local Hamish McNabb was labelled a "legend" after he busted poachers in Pauanui on Tuesday.

McNabb told the NZ Herald he blocked the poachers with his car, preventing them from making off with their load. 

Dozens of undersize pāua
Dozens of undersize pāua Photo credit: Supplied

"I grabbed a bag [of undersized pāua] and tipped it out. I told him to stay put and rang the police - who gave me the number for [fishery officers].

"We contained them until the fishery officer arrived, which took more than an hour because he was coming from Whitianga. We boxed their van in and the locals gave them a piece of their mind."

Locals responded with appreciation on the post.

"Get him down to the fishing club don't let him buy a beer all night! Need more people like this, top stuff."

Another local wrote that the issue has been going on for "days".

"My son has been down the south end Pauanui 3 days straight highlighting this issue. I've reported it twice to 0800 4 POACHER."

"Glad Hamish had the courage to finally get some action yesterday with support from Pauanui locals. I feel there needs to be a more proactive approach from the people who have the ability to enforce the laws."

Fisheries New Zealand regional manager, fisheries compliance, Andre Espinoza said in a statement to Newshub officers are "making inquiries into alleged poaching of pāua and kina on the Coromandel Peninsula".

The statement said three fishers who had taken at least 60 undersize pāua from the south end of Pauanui were caught on Tuesday night.

"These fishers will be formally interviewed by Fishery Officers and it is possible they may face enforcement action.

"We encourage everyone to report suspicious fishing activity to our 0800 4 POACHER line."