Coastguard launch unique 'Donate a Fish' fundraiser

Coastguard launch unique 'Donate a Fish' fundraiser

The Coastguard has launched a unique fundraising drive that will see people catching fish for charity in Auckland today.

Those out fishing today are encouraged to donate part of their catch at Okahu Bay, Westhaven, Half Moon Bay or Takapuna boat ramps, with the fish then being sold at auction tomorrow.

Coastguard spokesman Ray Burge said it’s a great way to support their “critical” lifesaving efforts.

“We’re the only search and rescue service out there that caters for the boating public, there is only one coast guard that goes out and helps these people when they’re in need.”

He said its a service everyone who boats should be supporting however they can.

“Everybody on a rescue boat is a volunteer so there’s been over 300,000 hours of volunteer time that Coastguard volunteers put towards saving people, educating them and just being out on the water and making sure people come home.”

The auction will be held at the Silo Park Produce Market.


Published at Sat, 04 Mar 2017 03:07:31 +0000

Fishing for funds

Fishing for funds

Donate a Fish campaign proceeds going to Coastguard from an auction at Silo markets on Sunday. Photo / supplied
Donate a Fish campaign proceeds going to Coastguard from an auction at Silo markets on Sunday. Photo / supplied

Every fisherman has a hard-luck story about the one that got away.

But today, boaties across Auckland are being asked to do just that to support Coastguard, the charity saving lives at sea.

In a novel twist on the traditional bucket donation, Coastguard is not asking boaties to donate cash – they are being asked to donate a fish.

Fishermen coming off the water around Auckland boat ramps will be able to donate what they have caught.

Coastguard will keep those fish on ice overnight, and auction them at Silo Park from midday tomorrow.

“This is something entirely new for us and we are hoping for a great turn out,” Ray Burge, Coastguard’s northern region operations manager, said. “It is a relatively easy thing to do to support a great cause.”

The auction’s proceeds will go directly to supporting Coastguard. It means Kiwis get to keep doing what they love, be that catching or eating fish – all the while supporting the service that looks out for them on the water.

“It is not just the fishermen and women who can enjoy the day, anyone who likes to eat fish can make an important contribution too.”

Coastguard is encouraging local boaties to get out on the water today and drop off any spare freshly-caught, legally-sized fish.

The fish will be collected between 7am-11am and 5pm-7pm at public boat ramps at Half Moon Bay, Takapuna, Westhaven, and The Landing (Okahu).

The fish will be available for purchase at auction tomorrow at the Silo Park Produce Market, from 12pm to 3pm.

And in true fisherman style – it is a donation you can exaggerate about later.

For more information about how to take part, visit

- NZ Herald


Published at Fri, 03 Mar 2017 16:07:30 +0000

Expensive day's catch

Expensive day's catch

TROUBLE: Undersized scallops recovered by Honorary Fisheries Officers on October 26, 2015. Photo supplied.

Three men have been sentenced and fined a total of $3750 at the Manukau District Court in relation to a raft of fisheries offences. They also had to forfeit their boat and dive gear.

On February 2, Rian Stuart and brothers Tremain Maaka, Tobias Maaka were charged with possession of undersized snapper, undersized scallops and undersized kingfish.

A total of 217 scallops were located by fisheries officers, of which 192 were undersized.

One kingfish measuring 573mm (minimum size limit is 750mm) and two snapper measuring 290mm and 295mm in length (minimum size is 300mm) were also found.

In court, all three defendants admitted the offences and requested a fine instead of community service. Two of the defendants were fined $1500 and a third was fined $750.

A conviction and $500 fine was handed out to all three defendants for the possession of undersized scallops, as well as a mandatory forfeiture order made with respect to the boat they were using and dive equipment.

The possession of undersized kingfish and undersized snapper were classified as regulatory offences and therefore resulted in no conviction.

A $250 fine, however, was given to all three defendants for the kingfish charge. The charge for possession of undersized snapper was discharged.

Two of the defendants, Tobias and Tremain Maaka, were also charged with obstruction in the form of threatening language toward fisheries officers in the execution of their duties, were convicted and fined $750 each with the addition of court costs.

Tobias was convicted of a second obstruction charge for failure to comply with the lawful requirement of a fishery officer, by dumping scallops into the sea after being instructed not to.

The charges date back to the afternoon of October 26, 2015, when the men were found with undersized fish by three voluntary Honorary Fisheries Officers (HFOs) conducting routine fishing checks at Half Moon Bay.

They noticed a small boat coming into the ramp, before it reversed and sped toward the ramp at Little Bucklands Beach.

From there, it moved to Big Bucklands Beach, and the HFOs on duty mobilised their unit.

When introduced to the officers, the defendants confirmed they had all been involved in the fishing, and after chatting pleasantries, the HFOs declared they needed to count and measure the day’s catch before the men could leave.

This was met with derogatory language, swear words and threats from the defendants, and when one of the men walked over and started to interfere with the counting process, he was warned by the three HFOs to stop what he was doing, and told he was obstructing the HFOs in the execution of their duties.

He ignored these instructions and proceeded to carry some of the catch back to the water’s edge, throwing a bunch of the undersized scallops into the water.

With the continued threats, the HFOs started to feel intimidated and fear for their safety, despite remaining outwardly calm and in control.

After a minor stand-off, one of the defendants was able to calm the situation, while one HFO returned to counting the catch and another called for police.

The fine given was a very lenient sentence compared with what the prosecution would have liked, said Judge Sharon McAuslan at sentencing, but gave credit to the men for guilty pleas and lack of recent offending.

Two of the men have no previous convictions of this kind and all three have no record of offending for “a significant period of time”.

One of the defendants also provided proof of completion of a voluntary anger management programme, which was to his credit, the judge said.

She did, however, take a moment to ensure each of the defendants understood the situation “would have been quite frightening” for the HFOs at the time, and commented on the importance of protecting the fishery.

All three defendants said they were remorseful, accepted responsibility for their actions and apologised over the incident.

“Sorry. It’s the first time I did it and it’ll be the last time I do it,” said Tobias.

“I understand they’re just doing their job.”

Tremain also gave his “apologies to everybody involved”.


Published at Wed, 15 Feb 2017 23:57:46 +0000