Jail sentence for NZ pāua poacher

The foot of a Blackfoot Pāua in New Zealand

Kaitāia man William Rini Wikitera, 42, received a year-long jail term when he was sentenced in the Auckland District Court on 2 charges under the Fisheries Act for the illegal gathering and selling of pāua (abalone) on the black market.

Wikitera, who has previous convictions for pāua poaching, was one of two people before the court for pāua-related offences committed between March and August 2015.

The offending was identified as a result of a complex investigation involving MPI fisheries officers and MPI compliance investigators.

The investigation identified approximately NZ$12,000 worth of pāua being sold in Northland and Auckland. The pāua had been illegally gathered in Northland.


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