Two men from Gisborne have been fined over $10,000 for multiple crayfish offences.
Aaron Andrew McKay pleaded guilty to selling 35 crayfish illegally and also being in possession of crayfish for sale, for his crimes he was charged $6,000. His offending was uncovered by a fisheries officer who had been notified about the illegal sale while Mr McKay attempted to sell more illegal crayfish.
Togan church leader Sunia Ha’unga admitted to packaging up 130 crayfish, which is more than 21 times the legal daily catch limit, among five boxes of oranges intended for family members in Auckland. He was charged $4,500 last week in the Gisborne District Court for being in possession of excess crayfish and for breaching Fisheries Act by intending to gain profit from possessing the crayfish.
Ministry for Primary spokesman, Adam Plumstead says the actions of both men is very disappointing.
He says, "In Mr McKay's case, he was involved in selling crayfish illegally in Tauranga in January this year. He had organised, mainly via text, a number of buyers for the 35 illegally caught crayfish he was selling.” He also said that if Mr McKay offends again under the act, he will be banned from fishing for three years.
Plumstead says, “"Crayfish is a very sought after commodity and the fishery is already under a lot of pressure. It's obviously very disappointing to note this sort of offending. People who don't respect the Fisheries Act will be dealt with accordingly as these two cases have shown. “
“There is no excuse for this sort of offending. The law is clear”