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

Urban Planning Report: Momentum Grows To Replace The RMA

A major new report from the Productivity Commission lays the foundation for action on the growing political consensus that the Resource Management Act and associated laws are failing both cities and the natural environment and need a complete rewrite.

Published this morning, the final “Better Urban Planning” report is the culmination of eight years of investigations ordered by the government into the causes of unaffordable housing and urban planning. More>>

 

Vaping: Quitline Supports Decision To Legalise Nicotine E-Cigarettes

Today Associate Minister of Health, Hon Nicky Wagner has announced that Government are taking the proactive step of legalising nicotine e-cigarettes, a move which Quitline is pleased to hear and support wholeheartedly. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Labour/Greens Deal (And The NZDF)

If Labour and the Greens were hoping their Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) agreement would foster an unlikely alliance then hey… mission accomplished! Because it isn’t every day that Sue Bradford, the CTU and Matthew Hooton speak with one voice, as happened yesterday. More>>

ALSO:

Until After The Election: Extension Of Report-Back Date For Havelock North Inquiry

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today that the report-back date for the independent Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-Water has been extended at the request of the Inquiry’s Panel. More>>

ALSO:

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news