MPI swoops on backyard rock lobster sales
The Ministry for Primary Industries is delighted that a tip-off from the public led to compliance officers moving in on a recreational fisherman offering rock lobster for sale from his home in Blenheim yesterday (10 March).
MPI compliance officers executed a search warrant last night at a property that had a sign on the gate offering “whitebait and crayfish for sale”.
After interviews with a recreational fisherman living at the property, MPI seized the following property: recreational fishing vessel valued at approximately $40,000; a large sum of cash; 26 rock lobster; 2 rock lobster pots and cooking equipment.
MPI compliance officers are continuing inquiries before deciding, what, if any, charges will be laid.
MPI District Compliance Manager Nelson/Marlborough Ian Bright says staff received several calls from people worried about the legality of this operation.
“People understand that recreationally caught fish cannot be bought, sold or traded, and the calls we got reinforce this.
“We always appreciate accurate and detailed information from the public. When there’s thousands of eyes and ears our there it allows our compliance officers to be very targeted and affective.
“If anyone has any information about illegal fishing or illegal dealing in fish please phone 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224).”