Illegal haul of flounder & oysters shock officers

The flounder above and oysters below. Supplied photos.

The Ministry for Primary Industries is disappointed by the scale of an illegal haul of flounder and oysters.

Northland fishery officers have caught a 66-year-old Russell man with 97 flounder and 677 shucked oysters which were packed in punnets.

MPI spokesman Steve Rudsdale says officers were seriously concerned at the scale of the offending.

“The haul was commercial in scale. The man had more than three times the daily limit of both flounder and oysters.

“On top of that, the man was fishing with a net that was 178 metres long. The maximum legal length for a flounder net is 60 metres. The way the oysters were packed in punnets and the length of the net indicate the illegal catch was destined for the commercial market.

“We’d like to remind people that they should always be motivated by collecting for ‘a feed rather than greed’.

“Also, that it’s an offence to buy seafood from an unlicensed source. Buying fish this way is also a food safety risk particularly in respect of the oysters, given that commercial oyster farms in the Bay of Islands were closed recently due to high rainfall.”

The man will face charges under the Fisheries Act.

His boat, fishing nets and a vehicle have been seized.

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1 Comment

It's really frustrating...

Posted on 25-07-2019 15:20 | By morepork

… that there are still people who let greed and short-term gain blind them to the bigger picture. He worked hard collecting and packing the seafood; so he isn’t lazy. It has to be greed. I don’t know how long they will keep his boat and nets, but if it were down to me, I’d NEVER return them. (And I’d ban him from any form of commercial fishing in the future.) A message needs to be sent on behalf of coming generations and the lifestyle we all enjoy. This crime is NOT victimless; it is just anti-social.

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