Fisheries officers in Northland have faced abuse and threats of violence this week, as they tackle paua poachers on west coast beaches.
The Ministry for Primary industries said shellfish gatherers on Kawerua Beach, north of Dargaville, have been taking many times the daily limit of ten paua per person.
District manager Steve Rudsdale said one Hokianga man caught with 56 paua threatened to "smash" the fisheries officers when they asked to see his catch, most of which was undersize.
He said the officers placed the man under arrest, but did not try to take him into custody because of his violent attitude.
They went to his house the next day with police back-up to arrest and charge him.
Mr Rudsdale said it was disappointing to see local people abusing a paua resource that's highly valued by the local community.