Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


50 MPI officers swoop on rock lobster black market

50 MPI officers swoop on rock lobster black market

29 May 2014

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.

Forty three 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.

Background info
• The retail price for rock lobster is approximately $90 per kilogram which, dependant on size would be two legal size rock lobster.
• Recreational black marketers are selling whole cooked rock lobster for between $10 and $15 each.
• For recreational fishers there is a limit of six rock lobster, per person, per day.
• Only those physically involved in taking rock lobster are entitled to take up to the daily limit.
• There is also a limit of three rock lobster pots per person, with a maximum of six pots per boat.
• It is illegal to sell or buy someone’s recreational catch.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Sky City : Auckland Convention Centre Cost Jumps By A Fifth

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator, is in talks with the government on how to fund the increased cost of as much as $130 million to build an international convention centre in downtown Auckland, with further gambling concessions ruled out. The Auckland-based company has increased its estimate to build the centre to between $470 million and $530 million as the construction boom across the country drives up building costs and design changes add to the bill.
More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news