Inevitably those most edible or saleable, especially rock lobster, paua and fish such as blue cod, butterfish and blue moki. Kina are also taken, along with a variety of molluscs. In some cases offenders have been intercepted with shopping bags full of many different shellfish and sea critters capable of contributing to a ‘seafood chowder’.
Blue cod – a populare eating fish recovering well in Taputeranga Marine Reserve
We are also concerned with any take of sea life, whether edible fish or invertebrates, or even seaweeds. People can mindlessly pick up and take materials away thinking they are not part of the marine reserve. Every species, living or dead is part of the web of life and of food chains vital for the full functioning of the habitats and ecosystems of the marine reserve as it recovers from decades of heavy exploitation.
Radiate limpets – not immune to poaching
Users of the reserve may be encouraged to pick up and examine creatures or their shells and remains provided they return them carefully to the place they were taken. Care should be taken with fragile species and with the careful replacement of rocks that have been disturbed.
Rock lobster – leave them in the reserve where they are protected!