The Department of Conservation is very pleased with the outcome, following last week’s prosecutions in the Whakatane District Court.
Travis Tane aged 21 Caregiver of Whakatane was sentenced on Tuesday in the Whakatane District Court for breaching the Whitebait Fisheries Act. Appearing before Community Magistrate Patterson.
On 7th October 2010 Mr Tane was observed by Department of Conservation Rangers fishing within 20 metres of a structure, The Orini floodgates. There are a number of signs (5) at the floodgates indicating that it is illegal to whitebait fish within 20 metres of the floodgate.
Andy Bassett, Area Manager for Gisborne Whakatane Area was pleased with these convictions. “We hope that these most recent convictions will make people think twice before breaking the regulations in the future. It is great to see the judiciary supporting the hard work of conservation staff and the greater community”
Also appearing on the same day was 39 year old Terrance Nathan of Whakatane. Mr Nathan was also observed by DOC Rangers on 20th August 2010 whitebait fishing within 20metres of a structure Orini floodgate. Mr Nathan was fined by Community Magistrate Patterson $400 and $132 court costs and also had his net confiscated.
Area Manager Mr Bassett went on to say “The Whitebait Regulations are in place to protect the whitebait fishery. Both Mr Tane’s and Nathan’s actions in fishing within the restricted showed them to be lazy and disrespectful whitebaiters.
Mr Bassett reiterated that whitebait fishing was enjoyed by a large number of Whakatane people and was a resource that was not infinite. The actions of a lazy few can have impact on future catches.
For further information on the rules and regulations of whitebait fishing you can contact your local DOC Office or access information here on the DOC website: whitebait regulations.