Commercial fisher sold recreational catch

Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

A deckhand from a commercial fishing boat was convicted in Lower Hutt District Court yesterday (4 November) for selling recreational crayfish that he was allowed to take under an approval.

Sean John Keith Stannard, 25, of Lower Hutt, pleaded guilty to Fisheries Act charges of selling crayfish and offering crayfish for sale.

Ministry for Primary Industries District Compliance Manager Mike Green said Mr Stannard had abused a privilege where commercial fishers can take a recreational bag limit of fish home from a trip, under certain conditions.

"He was offering large crayfish on Facebook for $30 each and texting his mates to see if they were interested. We caught him selling $220 of crayfish in three transactions in March this year."

Mr Green said that all commercial fishers must rigorously follow the rules if we want to keep fishing sustainably into the future.

"Flogging off a few crays for a perk may not sound like a big issue, but if all fishers did it, we'd risk collapsing the fishery. No one wants that."

Mr Stannard was sentenced to 80 hours community work and the phone he used in the offending was forfeit to the Crown.

Mr Green said if people suspect illegal fishing activity or sales to contact 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224). All calls are confidential.

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