Credit: Mike Bhana / Newhub
Coromandel iwi Ngāti Hei is reported to have announced a voluntary rāhui to protect stocks of pink maomao in the area after reports of hundreds of the unprotected fish being plundered.
Ngāti Hei spokesperson Joe Davis told Newshub on Friday that the abuse was shocking.
"It's another mokopuna of tangaroa that's being abused and as tangata whenua we need to do something about it."
Friday night the iwi is understood to have announced the rāhui, deeply concerned about the situation.
"The iwi has every right to implement a rāhui, whether people abide by it is the test," Davis told the NZ Herald.
"We're calling on the conscience of New Zealanders to abide by it. It's for their own good, actually it's for their grandchildren's own good that we are vigilant."
The rāhui will stay in place until authorities take action.