Recreational fishers caught illegally selling fish from car boot
8 May 2012
Northland fishery officers recently caught several recreational fishers making illegal roadside sales of their catch from the boots of their cars.
The first incident involved a 50 year-old Whangarei woman who was caught selling mullet from the boot of her car near the intersection of a state highway in Whangarei. The fish was being offered for sale at a price of $5 -$9 per fish depending on the size of the fish and quantities purchased.
In the second incident a middle aged Kerikeri man and woman were also caught selling mullet from the boot of their car on Kerikeri Road, Kerikeri. The mullet had been freshly caught and was offered for sale at $3 - $5, again depending on the size of the fish and the quantities purchased.
Ministry for Primary Industries, Northland District Compliance Manager, Darren Edwards says that fish can only be purchased from a commercial fisher or a commercially operated fish retailer.
“It is illegal to both purchase and sell recreationally caught fish and those caught committing offences may face prosecution,” says Mr Edwards.
In both of these incidents the fish being sold and the vehicles used have been seized. The individuals involved are likely to face prosecution under the Fisheries Act 1996 with penalties of a maximum fine of $250,000 and the forfeiture of any property used in the commission of the offence.
The Ministry believes that the fish being sold on both occasions was excess to requirement after successful fishing trips earlier in the day.
“Fishers need to plan their fishing activities before leaving and to make sure they’re aware of the recreational fishing regulations regarding what they can and can’t do with their fish.
“Public awareness and education on fish limits is important to ensure fish stock limits are managed. Fishery officers can’t be everywhere but with the support of the public, such as in these two cases, we can apprehend those who offend.”
Go here for further information about recreational fishing limits
The Ministry for Primary Industries encourages the public to report any suspicious fishing activity to our free phone hotline 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224).