Paua poacher shells out 11 months in prison after second conviction.
A 30 year-old Richmond man received a prison sentence in the Nelson District Court yesterday for breaches to the Fisheries Act 1996 after being found guilty on charges relating to paua poaching.
Day Van Tang, a seasonal horticultural worker was sentenced to 11 months imprisonment after he was caught by fisheries officers with over ten times the daily limit of paua, the vast majority of which were undersized. Tang was also banned from fishing for three years, and his vehicle together with all of the gear used in the offending was ordered forfeit to the crown.
On 3 July 2012, Tang was collecting paua at night with his brother Hanh Tang at a secluded spot on the Kaikoura Coast. Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) fishery officers apprehended Tang after they had left their diving spot and were returning to Nelson. Fishery officers targeted the Tang brothers after an anonymous tip off from the public.
After inspecting his car they found two sacks of paua containing a total of 139 paua of which nine were already shucked and a total of 115 were undersized. Officers subsequently recovered a further 13 freshly shucked paua from the area he had been diving. Hanh Tang has already been sentenced to a fine of $2,000 in his case, however as there was no evidence that he intended to sell any of the paua and this was his first fisheries related conviction he escaped a more serious penalty.
When apprehended Day Van Tang admitted that he had taken the paua found in the vehicle, however at first he denied knowing what they were, referring to them as ‘whelks’. In a later interview he admitted knowing that the shellfish were indeed paua and that he had travelled to Kaikoura for the purpose of taking them. He also admitted knowing the daily limit for paua and that he did not measure any of the shellfish. More....