Paua offender sentenced
30 October 2007
Trying to post more than 300 kilograms of dried paua overseas saw a man sentenced at the Wellington District Court today.
Kim Hong Rov has been sentenced to six months home detention on two counts relating to serious breaches against the Fisheries Act. The offending occurred between June and November 2004 and facilitated the export of illegally taken paua.
MFish Investigations Manager Mark Nicholson said Rov and co-offender Boon Lim Chin were arrested in July 2005 for their involvement in the postage of a number of boxes, which, when examined by Ministry of Fisheries officers, were found to contain semi dried black market paua meat. Chin was sentenced in Christchurch in May to a term of imprisonment.
All of these boxes, sent from Wellington Christchurch and Auckland, were destined for Hong Kong.
Mr Nicholson said the total weight of semi dried black market paua meat was in excess of 300kgs. “This equates to 1.5 tonnes of shucked paua, before it was dried. That represents thousands of live paua.
“This was a significant illegal export operation and we are very happy to have closed down this particular avenue for black market paua leaving the country.
“Fish theft and black market operations pose a real risk to sustainability of high value fisheries, such as paua and rock-lobster. MFish spends a lot of time and resources targeting this activity.”
In addition to the black market paua sent through the New Zealand postal system, Rov also attempted to send five bags of paua meat to Malaysia through a freight forwarding company.
The conveying of fish, including paua, otherwise than in accordance with the Fisheries Act 1996 is an offence under s233 of that Act and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of 5 years, a fine of up to $250,000 or both.
If people have information or suspect illegal fishing anywhere they should ring the MFish poacher line 0800 4POACHER (0800 476 224).