MPI cracking down on seafood poachers
A significant increase in the number of illegal seafood sales via Facebook has prompted the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to warn those offending that they will face penalties for violating the Fisheries Act.
Since the beginning of the year, MPI has received more than 160 calls and emails reporting Facebook posts by people selling recreationally caught seafood including crayfish, kina and pa¯ ua.
That’s up on the 2016 where 96 complaints were received and the year before with 57 complaints. MPI Fisheries Compliance Manager Greg Keys says it’s likely that most people who are posting about seafood for sale know that their actions are illegal.
“This is simply another vehicle that people use to illegally sell recreational catch,” Mr Keys said. “That figure doesn’t include multiple complaints about the same post so, in reality, the number of complaints is significantly higher than that.
“Both buying and selling recreationally caught seafood, as well as swapping it, is against the law. These can result in fines of up to $250,000.” Mr Keys says MPI expects to see an increase in illegal activity in warmer weather. MPI follows up on every incident. “Ensuring and promoting sustainable fisheries is a collective responsibility.”
Report poaching or illegal activity by calling 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email: email@example.com or use or main Facebook site www.facebook.com/ Mpigovtnz/
Useful information includes: ■ The location. ■ Vehicle/trailer registration number. ■ Boat name ■ Description of the person. ■ Screenshots of the listing.
All correspondence is confidential.
POACHED: A haul of undersized paua.