A convicted paua poacher who told fisheries officers he thought he'd caught sea snails when he was found with 10 times the daily limit of paua last year has been jailed.
Day Van Tang was sentenced in Nelson District Court to 11 months in jail after his second conviction for paua poaching.
He was also banned from fishing for three years, and his vehicle and his gear used in the poaching was forfeited to the Crown.
Tang and his brother Hanh Tang were caught in Nelson with 139 paua, 115 of which were undersized, that they took at a secluded spot on the Kaikoura coast.
When first approached Day Van Tang denied knowing what the shellfish were, saying they were whelks - a type of sea snail.
But he later admitted he knew he was only allowed to take 10 paua a day, and that despite knowing he wasn't allowed to catch paua less than 125mm he didn't measure any of them.
Tang had already been jailed for 12 months in 2010 on charges of selling, taking or possessing paua to obtain a benefit.
"I hope he takes the time to reflect on the foolishness of his actions. He has a long while to do so," Ministry of Primary Industries district compliance manager Ian Bright said.
Hanh Tang had already been fined $2000 but escaped anything more serious as it was his first fisheries-related conviction and there was no evidence he intended to sell any of the paua.
The men were caught after an anonymous tip-off from the public, Mr Bright said.
"We greatly appreciate the support of the community in reporting poachers and those who break the rules."