Bay of Plenty fish poacher nabbed
24 June 2010
Earlier this week Fishery Officers apprehended a local Maketu resident who was allegedly engaged in black market fish selling activities.
The Ministry of Fisheries alleges that this man had been illegally selling a number of fish species - including eel, snapper and green-lipped mussels - in Rotorua for several months.
Ministry of Fisheries Field Operations Manager Brendon Mikkelsen said the Ministry had seized a 4x4 Toyota Hilux Surf, a Daihatsu vehicle, a six-metre boat and trailer, a fish smoker unit and other fishing equipment.
“Fishery Officers are continuing enquiries this week including contacting numerous witnesses regarding the man’s alleged illegal fish sales and the possible involvement of others who may be associated with the offending,” Mr Mikkelsen said.
It is unlawful for recreational (non-commercial) fishers to sell fish or shellfish. This includes offering fish or shellfish for sale or “valuable consideration” including barter.
The Fisheries Act provides for potentially heavy fines for offending of this nature as well as possible confiscation of property, including vehicles and boats used in the offending.
“The Ministry is treating this incident seriously and the matter may be dealt with by court action,” Mr Mikkelsen said. “Any illegal selling of fish and shellfish taken locally at Maketu is effectively stealing from the local community.”
Information received from the local Maketu and Rotorua communities via the Ministry’s popular 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) number helped Fishery Officers apprehend this man and effectively put an end to his alleged fish theft and illegal selling. Anyone with further information is encouraged to call this number, in confidence if necessary.