Selling or raffling seafood - a reminder to clubs, hotels and workplaces
16 December 2004
The Ministry of Fisheries is reminding organisers of holiday season sales or raffles of seafood that they could be breaking the law and helping undermine the sustainability of New Zealand's fisheries.
"We're concerned that some clubs, hotels and workplaces are conducting sales or raffles of seafood that has not come from a legal source," says Brendon Mikkelsen, the Ministry's Tauranga district compliance manager.
"Although many of these sales may be well-intentioned, for example as fundraisers, people have to remember that our fisheries are carefully managed to ensure their long-term sustainability.
"Taking fish for sale is effectively commercial fishing. If this happens outside the legal management system for fisheries, the integrity of the system and the conservation of the resource are threatened."
The meaning of "sale" under the Fisheries Act is very wide, covering every form of trade including raffles, lotteries and other games of chance.
"Severe penalties apply to offences under the Fisheries Act, including large fines and forfeiture of property," Mr Mikkelsen said. "Clubs, hotels and workplaces need to understand the rules so that they can avoid putting themselves at risk, and play their part in conserving the resource."
Anyone organising a sale or raffle of seafood, or wanting more detailed information on the law, can contact any office of the Ministry of Fisheries.