Fishery officers have arrested a man for obstruction while investigating the alleged illegal sale of pāua via social media.
Gary Orr, acting deputy managing director of compliance and governance, said that “in the days leading up to the arrest, MPI received at least 65 public notifications from a man offering one-liter containers of pāua for $50 each via Facebook”.
It is illegal to sell, barter or trade fish and shellfish caught for recreational purposes.
“MPI was contacted on Friday morning (January 7) that a man linked to the Facebook posts was going to be at a location in Lower Hutt, selling two containers of pāua,” Mr Orr said.
“Fishery officers approached the alleged seller, who was on foot and while they were talking to him, he ran away. After a short chase, he was arrested for obstructing fishery officers and taken to Lower Hutt Police Station.
The fact that the man was located and detained was due to public vigilance and the compliance work of Department of Primary Industries fishery officers, Mr Orr said.
His alleged activities are now the subject of an ongoing investigation which could result in the filing of charges.
“I would like to thank all members of the public who have taken the time and effort to contact us regarding this particular offense and other violations.
“Our fishery officers are doing a great job of protecting our kai moana for future generations, and we rely on the goodwill and involvement of the public to do this,” Mr. Orr said.
Suspicious fishing behavior should be reported to 0800 4 POACHER.
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