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Seafood New Zealand applauds MPI operation

Seafood New Zealand applauds MPI operation

Seafood New Zealand applauds the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for its work in what must have been a difficult and complex investigation into black market fishing and trading in Hawke’s Bay, says Chief Executive Tim Pankhurst.

He was commenting on MPI’s Operation River that has involved:

• Executing search warrants on 22 dwellings

• Inspecting commercial fishing premises in Hastings and Napier

• Interviewing 31 people

• Seizing one commercial fishing vessel, three recreational fishing vessels, one tractor, 11 vehicles that were connected with black market catch and sales

• Uncovering illegal trading of 1.8 tonnes of paua (shell on) and 600 crayfish

“The scale and nature of the alleged offending is significant. Everybody is affected when fisheries rules are broken. Poaching and trading in black market seafood robs all New Zealanders, those who depend on the sea for their livelihood through legitimate fishing under our Quota Management System and the many thousands who enjoy fishing for recreational pleasure.

“The matters raised by this investigation are very serious and will now rightly be settled by the Courts,” Tim Pankhurst said.

ENDS

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