Fined $30K for black market paua

Some of the paua seized in 2015. Supplied photo.

A Tauranga company that owns two local food outlets has been fined $30,000 for possessing paua from the black market. 

The company had earlier pleaded guilty and was sentenced alongside Tauranga husband and wife duo Luana and Hira Noble and Motiti Island resident Lee Wells who had also earlier pleaded guilty to charges under the Fisheries Act. 

Luana Noble, who is the sole director of D.Lish Limited, was separately convicted, sentenced to 10 months home detention and 200 hours community work plus ordered to pay court costs of $5000. 

Her husband, Hira, was convicted, sentenced to 10 months home detention and 200 hours community work and ordered to pay costs of $5000.

He was also banned from all fishing activity for three years because of previous fisheries convictions.

Lee Wells was convicted and sentenced to 200 hours community work for her part on lesser charges. 

Two other people connected to the offending, June Faulkner and Pixie Wells, were previously sentenced. 

One other person, Anthony Jackson, will be sentenced next month for his role. 

The court heard that between 2014 and 2015 Anthony Jackson and Lee Wells ran a black market business diving for paua and kina on Motiti Island and selling it on the mainland, says a statement from the Ministry of Primary Industries. 

Jackson and Wells were involved in mincing the paua and packaging it up into half and one kilo zip lock bags, then selling the bags for $40 and $80 respectively. 

The kina roe was bottled into containers of various sizes and sold for between $30 and $160 depending on the volume. 

Luana and Hira Noble were jointly involved in receiving 113kg of the illegally taken minced paua.

Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman, Michael Simmons, says the extent of the offending was very serious. 

“Over a 13 month period, 250kg of minced paua and 43 litres of kina were sold on the black market. That represented around $22,000 worth of sales. 

“This level of illegal take represents approximately 32 percent of the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) for the paua fishery from Tirau Point on the west coast of the North Island to Cape Runaway. 

“That's about 33 percent more than the volume that was commercially harvested across the entire paua fishery in the area in 2014/15. 

“This type of illegal activity is extremely serious. Paua stocks cannot afford to be plundered in this way. The sustainability of the stock is paramount to ensure the survival of a valuable resource for current and future generations.”

Michael says there are also considerable food safety concerns where product isn't handled and processed to approved standards. 

“During the period of this offending, a Ministry of Health warning was in place over the gathering of shellfish including paua and kina in the Bay of Plenty area, including Motiti Island, because of paralytic shellfish toxins which make affected shellfish unsafe for human consumption. 

“This could have had serious health consequences. 

"The sentences handed down to all involved should serve as a warning to anyone who is involved in similar illegal activity or is considering it. MPI takes this sort of offending very seriously and we do everything we can to ensure those involved are held to account.” 

To report illegal fishing activity, please call: 0800 476 224 (0800 4 POACHER).


Leave the boat at home mate

Posted on 04-05-2017 10:41 | By Papamoaner

The boat is your handicap. Even walking around the Mount you can get enough for a few fritters if you know where to look


Posted on 04-05-2017 10:10 | By Papamoaner

I am way too old to own a boat any more. You need to stay in the shallows mate - about 2 metres, and get right in under the kelp and into the dark cracks. That's where they are. I was down in Wellington a few weeks ago and they are certainly like a carpet down there, and also on the Wairarapa coast, but mostly only just legal size. That will improve with time. You can't ignore those photos of the exposed paua on the Kaikoura coast. Local numbers will soon pick up because they spread far and wide at a rate of knots once the poachers are wiped out. The spores are like minature helicopters moving through the water - amazing to watch. best place to experience that is in a marine research museum. It changes one's whole thinking.

Ask any regular

Posted on 03-05-2017 19:58 | By awaroa

Diver papmoaner. Theres f all paua around here mate. I'm talking local stocks not Chatham Islands where they're like a carpet. Do you own a boat? I do and out on and under water every chance I get. Might be glass bottom diving you're talking about I think..

@Awaroa -

Posted on 03-05-2017 13:00 | By Papamoaner

Indeed the paua are bouncing back all over the place thanks to fisheries enforcement and asset seizure (MPI). I dive in a few places around NZ, and places that were almost devoid of Paua are now thriving, with paua covering the seabed like a carpet in some places. Remember those upheaved rocks at Kaikoura after the earthquake? They were "carpeted" with paua. If you disagree, I would say you haven't dived in the last few years. It is obvious to divers at a glance.

And ..

Posted on 03-05-2017 09:45 | By Me again

That L Dish Ltd needs to suffer for that too $30k fine Ha what laugh mongr...!!

Good job MPI

Posted on 03-05-2017 09:17 | By Lone Star

Lets hope the last of them gets jail time. The raping of the sea around Motiti Island hasnt stopped

D.lish hangi & stolen seafood shop

Posted on 03-05-2017 09:08 | By Pondering

Wooooowwww. Won't be visiting your shops anymore.Abit sad for the people &generations to come of Tauranga moana


Posted on 02-05-2017 19:26 | By morepork an obviously greedy person who has been previously convicted several times, just banned for 3 years? It should be for life.

Only 5k fine

Posted on 02-05-2017 16:47 | By Smilarkie

Come on, why are these scum not fined more. They made 22k. Oh and please can someone tell me the name of the company that was also fined, so I can avoid them when buying my seafood. Great work MPI

These ..

Posted on 02-05-2017 16:38 | By Me again

Mongr.. only thought of themselves and not the next, and the next generation. And they profess to be whanau from Motiti Island. Just mongr...!!!

Bouncing back??

Posted on 02-05-2017 15:30 | By awaroa

I don't think so. They've been hammered. Hardly any around. These idiots are the reason why. Selfish jerks the lot of you. Good job. Next time, jail. Ana!

Great outcome

Posted on 02-05-2017 14:15 | By spencerb

Great to see these lowlife, who think they some special right to plunder resources that belong to all of us, punished for their crimes. Who the hell do they think they are?

Fantastic result MPI

Posted on 02-05-2017 11:54 | By Papamoaner

I see one cretin had previous convictions. Our precious paua resource is in good hands. They are bouncing back like a house on fire - plenty for everyone providing everyone tows the line. Like Tax evasion, paua poaching is stealing from your mates. A big thanks also, to those patriots who dob offenders in to MPI

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