7 Dec 2010

Kaikoura fisheries surveillance strengthened

11:23 pm on 7 December 2010

The kaitiaki or guardians of the Kaikoura coastal fishery are welcoming the strengthening of fisheries surveillance in the area.

Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura chair John Nicholls says it should deter paua poachers who have plundered the 30 kilometres of accessible coastline in recent years.

A new office has opened at Kaikoura, for two full time staff and five honorary fisheries officers.

Mr Nicholls says some parts of the coast have been completely stripped of paua and will need to be reseeded.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley says the office is a significant boost to the ministry's presence and capacity in an area where outdoor activity, including fishing, is increasing.

For the last two decades the Kaikoura coast has been mainly patrolled by staff travelling from Christchurch, Blenheim and Nelson as well as local honorary fishery officers.