Boaties caught red-handed: Police seized 21 Packhorse Crayfish, some undersized, from an 8.8m vessel off Great Barrier Island. Photo / NZ Police

Boaties Busted for Undersized Crays After Fleeing Police

A group of boaties felt the pinch over the weekend after Police caught up with them off the coast of Aotea.

Sergeant Peter Comer, of the Auckland Maritime Unit, says that at around 11am an informant called Great Barrier Police to advise them of three vessels with divers in the water near Great Barrier Island.

The Police Maritime Unit were then called to respond.

“Police Launch Deodar III was soon in the area, however upon approaching the vessels, the largest of three began steaming away from the island,” he says.

The 8.8m vessel, with twin outboards, was intercepted by the Police Maritime Unit a short time later who stopped them under lights and sirens.

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“Officers boarded and searched the vessel where our teams located 21 Packhorse Crayfish, some of which were undersize,” Sergeant Comer says.

Those found to be undersized were confiscated and returned to the ocean.

Police inspected the two further vessels a short time later and Sergeant Comer says those on the vessels had the appropriate quota and size of Packhorse Crayfish on board.

Between the three vessels, a total of 45 Packhorse Crayfish were inspected.

The Police Maritime Unit reminded the public that if they are breaking Fisheries laws, it will only be a matter of time before Police and/or Fisheries New Zealand Fishery Officers end up speaking to you.

“Police are continuing to work with our partner agencies to ensure we are all working together to keep New Zealand fisheries sustainable for the future.” the organisation said.

Enquiries into the circumstances remain ongoing.

Sergeant Comer says Police would also like to thank the member of the public who initially contacted Police with their concerns and we encourage this to continue.

“If the public see anything of concern or if you suspect poaching, please call 0800 4 POACHER.

“You can also contact Police via 111 if something is happening now or on 105 if it is after the fact.”

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