Date: 28 May 2009
A Richmond man has been fined $1500 on a second conviction for using whitebait fishing gear illegally.
Harold John Sherwood Osmond, aged 71, was also ordered to pay costs totalling $500. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge of using whitebait fishing gear exceeding more than one third the width of a stream but was found guilty in the Nelson District Court after a hearing last week.
In 2007, Osmond pleaded guilty to the same charge and was fined $700 and ordered to pay $130 court costs.
The latest conviction followed a DOC ranger on 27 October last year finding Osmond whitebaiting in Stringer Creek off Westdale Road in Richmond with a whitebait net and screens that covered the entire width of the creek. The Whitebait Fishing Regulations specify that fishing gear should not exceed more than one-third of the water channel width.
Department of Conservation Motueka Biodiversity Programme Manager Gavin Udy, said the Whitebait Fishing Regulations were in place to sustain the whitebait fishery and help to ensure everybody gets their fair share of whitebait.
“Enough whitebait needs to get upstream past nets to enable healthy native fish populations and good whitebait runs in future years. Using fishing gear covering the whole width of the stream doesn’t give whitebait a chance and it disadvantages people whitebaiting further up the waterway.”
“We will continue to put effort into compliance and enforcement with the Whitebait Fishing Regulations when coming across blatant breaches,” Mr Udy said.
Gavin Udy, DOC Motueka Area Office, ph: +64 3 528 1810
Trish Grant, DOC Nelson/Marlborough communications advisor, ph: +64 3 546 3146