MPI warn against continued illegal selling of seafood online

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

The Ministry of Primary Industries is encouraging the wider community to report anyone illegally selling seafood online through social media sites after people continue to flout the law and put public health at risk.

Paua, crayfish and parengo are just some of the delicacies being sold illegally online.

"The important thing is that the law will catch up with them, secondly they could get severely sick because we don't know where that kaimoana has come through and under what kind of conditions it has been kept in," says Richard Ratapu, Chief Compliance Officer, MPI.

"It's across New Zealand people are collecting seafood and then putting it online to sell, that is a big problem so in saying that when we see this type of online activity we immediately contact them to let them know it's illegal."

But illegal online seafood sellers can face more serious consequences than just a warning.

"They get a hefty fine or even have their boat confiscated as well as all their fishing equipment, which is a major, but it's all up to the judge," he says.

MPI encourages support from iwi, hapū and the wider New Zealand community to report anyone illegally selling seafood online.