Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


50 MPI officers swoop on rock lobster black market

50 MPI officers swoop on rock lobster black market


Fifty Ministry for Primary Industry (MPI) compliance officers wrapped up an undercover operation today that targeted recreational fishers catching and selling rock lobster (crayfish) in the South Island.

The operation was focused on activities in the Kaikoura area but also included the Christchurch and Marlborough/Nelson areas.

It is illegal to sell your recreational fishing catch with a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.

Fortythree people will be interviewed by compliance officers, many of these are likely to face serious Fisheries Act charges, including a food wholesaler and a restaurant in Christchurch.

Ten cars, five boats and a tractor, all connected with black market catch and sales, have been seized as part of the operation, which involved the execution of 32 search warrants.

MPI has identified a number of other residents who may be involved in black market activity and will be monitored closely in the future.

“It is MPI’s role to ensure people are fishing by the rules and to protect New Zealand’s fisheries for future generations. As this operation would indicate, it is something we take very seriously,” says MPI Director-General Martyn Dunne.

An MPI Special Duties Officer (under cover) bought 1200 cooked rock lobster from recreational fishers in an operation run over approximately 12 months. The undercover officer was managed nationally from Wellington, without the knowledge of local Compliance Officers.

MPI Director Compliance Dean Baigent says the ease in which someone could purchase 1200 rock lobster points to a well established black market.

Mr Baigent says intelligence gathered by MPI suggests there has been a thriving black market in recreationally caught rock lobster in the town for some time.

“Recreational fishers have been fishing in a pseudo-commercial way and selling their catch to supply a large black market including locals, tourists, hotels and restaurants and businesses further afield.”

“For some permanent residents, selling their recreational catch and taking extra is a long practised and normalised behaviour. The same goes for people who like to buy a few cheap crays or a bag of fillets at the pub or out of the boot of a car.”

“Buying and selling black market fish is illegal and we’re reminding people about that today.”

Mr Baigent says a black market for rock lobster undermines the sustainability of the fishery and puts it at risk for genuine fishers – whether they are customary, commercial or recreational.

He says many of those involved are long term recidivist poachers known as ‘six-a-dayers’.

“These poachers take their recreational limit of six a day, every day they can, and sell it.

“They increase their catch by taking extra passengers and attributing another six rock lobster to each passenger, or going out more than once a day and taking the daily recreational limit every time.

Mr Baigent says there is no black market if people aren’t buying.

“We rely on the public to help protect their fisheries. I encourage people to report any suspicious fishing, buying or selling to 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224). All calls are confidential.


Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Latest TPP Leaks

The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property – including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about what’s still on the table. The leaked drafts pertain to the May 2014 negotiating positions and enable comparisons with the August 2013 positions that Wikileaks released last November...

This attempt to strengthen the patent rights of Big Pharma will be of particular concern to poorer countries struggling to afford drug treatments for communicable diseases. More>>

 
 

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news