Poachers threat to kai moana

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Paua are under attack from poachers sneaking into the paua fields around the Moeraki Peninsula and plundering them, Te Runanga o Moeraki says.
Upoko Runanga o Moeraki David Higgins said the issue was ongoing and help from the public was needed to stop poachers if the paua fields were to remain healthy and open.
“They’re really under attack.”He believed the key group of poachers operating in the area were people new to North Otago who played dumb with their knowledge of fishing rights, laws and English.
Despite the township of Moeraki being better protected than sites such as Kakanui and Warrington Beach, he said illegal fishing activities were still concerning.
“They even go down to the lighthouse, put their wetsuits on and walk through our pa site and then start poaching.”Even though Te Runanga o Moeraki was working with Ministry for Primary Industries fishery officers on monitoring the paua fishery and other kai moana, Mr Higgins believed the local paua breeding stocks were under threat.
“We don’t want to be in a situation where we ban people from entering our land.
“I don’t want to park a tractor across my road.”He also said Te Runanga o Moeraki believed paua illegally caught in its area had ended up in private functions in Auckland.