Dargaville District News : February 25th 2015
YOUR PLACE, YOUR PAPER Wednesday, February 25, 201 Trial run for budding school sports stars On ball: Liam Paton gets some practise in before the trials. Dargaville High School held netball and cricket trials last week to set up teams for 2015. Northland Cricket’sSamWalker was there to give the cricket group a few tips while year 10-13 girls showed netball senior A coach Moana Edwards their skills. More photos P15. Shellfish mix-up risk to toheroa By ALICIA BURROW PEOPLE gathering the bountiful tuatua this season may accidentally be picking up the rare and treasured toheroa shellfish instead. Ministry for Primary Industries honorary fisheries officers say tuatua have returned to Ripiro Beach in good numbers this summer, with more people gathering than in recent years. However, they warn it’s illegal to gather, disturb or possess the similar-looking toheroa shellfish, with penalties ranging from $500 to court prosecution with a maximum fine of $20,000. Marine conservationist Barry Searle, who has studied shellfish for more than 40 years, says people could mistakenly dig for toheroa instead of tuatua. There are two visual differences between the shells, he says. The tuatua has a smoother shell and has more than one straight edge. ‘‘The toheroa’s shell is rougher and clearly shows growth lines whenever there is a full moon or new moon,’’ he says. Baylys Beach resident Noeline Munn says tuatua are right through the sand. ‘‘You can’t walk far with- Fast mover: Aarai TeTuhi-MaKoare shows some speed. Delivered Wednesdays throughout the Kaipara District Plentiful: Hordes of people gather tuatua at Ripiro Beach. Inset: Similar – these shellfish could be the difference between a tasty fritter and a $500 fine. The toheroa, left, is about3 years old and at its peak breeding age. out standing on them, a huge change from last year when we had none,’’ she says. But Searle’s research has shown it’s not population booms that cause the influx of tuatua. ‘‘It’s not that there’s more of them, it’s just that they’ve come closer to the shore,’’ he says. Found mostly on the northern west coast, toheroa shellfish numbers plummeted from over-harvesting 40 years ago and the fishery has been closed ever since except for customary gathering under certain circumstances. The beds were slowly recovering well in the Dargaville area, but were hit hard last summer by an influx of South Island pied oystercatcher birds. The daily limit for tuatua is 150 per person. Information on all recreational limits and sizes including closures and other rules can be found on the SEE YOU AT THE FIELD DAYS 26th - 28th Feb, 2015 23 Normanby Street, Dargaville Ph:09 439 3266 6416945AB MPI website mpi.govt.nz. Fishing rule pamphlets are available at MPI offices and at many fishing shops, or text ‘‘app’’ to 9889 to have the NZ Fishing Rules App sent to your smart phone.
February 18th 2015