A Gisborne man has been convicted of obstruction of a fishery officer after he ignored a ministry checkpoint and ate his paua catch to hide the evidence.
Ivan Harrison has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service and had his vehicle forfeited by the Crown.
In July, Ministry of Fisheries officers observed the man carrying a sack of seafood to a parked vehicle.
After he drove away, he ignored a Ministry of Fisheries checkpoint and it was later confirmed that he had eaten the catch.
The ministry's Gisborne district compliance manager hopes the conviction will serve as a deterrent to anyone planning to plunder fisheries resources.