Two men have been banned from fishing for three years each after repeatedly taking excess and undersize pāua in recent years.
The men, whose offending was unrelated, appeared in separate courts on Wednesday.
Ionatana Sasi, 51, was caught with 144 undersize pāua in 2019. He took the pāua from Eastbourne, near Burdan's Gate in Wellington and when confronted by fisheries officers dumped his catch bag in shallow water, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said in a statement on Thursday.
When the bag was retrieved and inspected, officers found 156 pāua - more than 15 times the legal limit.
He claimed he had intended to measure all the pāua and return the undersize shellfish to the sea, but that explanation was rejected by the court.
It was the second time he had been in court for illegally taking pāua in the area. Under the Fisheries Act 1996, it is mandatory to ban anyone who commits certain offences more than once within seven years.
Sasi also had his dive equipment confiscated and was ordered to do 250 hours of community work.
In the other case, Kelly Horowai Makoare, 57, was found with 52 pāua - more than five times the daily limit - at Pourerere Beach in Central Hawke's Bay last year.
He pleaded guilty to one charge under the Fisheries Act, and along with being banned from fishing was fined $1200.
"When someone takes more than their share they can ruin it for everyone," said Steve Ham, MPI's national manager of fisheries compliance.
"The rules are there for a reason - to help make sure we can all sustainably enjoy kaimoana.
"These sentences in Lower Hutt and Napier send a strong message that there are serious consequences for those who want to break the rules in place to protect pāua."