All marine life in Taputeranga Marine Reserve is fully protected and there are significant penalties under law for poaching. This includes taking any plant or animal material, living or dead below MHWS (mean high water springs). It can include all such organisms in the intertidal zone, and includes fish or plants in tidal rock pools, or attached to reefs above the water line below MHWS.
People are drawn to the burgeoning marine life of the reserve as it recovers from the exploitation years, especially at very low tides. It may be tempting to think that targetted species such as paua or edible seaweeds, for example will not be missed. All of the plants and animals are important to the recovering habitats. Poachers take big risks of being observed, reported, prosecuted and fined, with potential loss of gear, vehicles or boats usd in poaching.
All incidents of apparent poaching observed by reserve and shore users should be reported to the DOC HOTline:
The Friends of Taputeranga Marine Reserve Trust has a mandate to assist the Department of Conservation (DOC) in promoting
compliance with the Marine Reserves Act 1977, which prohibits fishing or any take of marine life from the reserve. It is clear to the Friends that DOC has been working to bring many offenders to book. DOC has also been liaising with Maritime Police and Ministry of Primary Industries on compliance.
DOC has provided some resources to assist people who witness incidents to gather useful information that may lead to the identification of offenders and to successful prosecution. Remember the key phone number is: 0800DOCHOT (0800 362468). The DOC incident reporting form provides a prompt as to the information worth gathering to help DOC with possible prosecutions.
For more information about the Friends’ activities in working with DOC on poaching and compliance, go to our Coastwatch page.
Copies of the DOC Incident Reporting Form are available as follows:
1. Most people can open .pdf forms through Adobe or similar reader. This may be found at: http://taputeranga.org.nz/?attachment_id=2074 This form when completed may be handed to the DOC ranger who attends an incident, or save it to your files and send by email to firstname.lastname@example.org , or post to DOC at Kapiti/Wellington Office, PO Box 5086, Lambton Quay, Wellington.
2 For those who cannot open .pdf forms, or when you do, find that the form cannot be filled in, there is a Word version available. Follow the same instructions as above for saving and emailing.
In recognition of the multi-cultural nature of our society, of both residents and visitors, we are providing pamphlets in additional languages:
No taking of any marine life or material within the Reserve boundaries!