An Auckland pair, caught with 222 crayfish from Mahia that they intended to sell on the black market, have been sentenced to five months’ Community Detention and 140 hours community work and forfeited their vehicle.
Following a successful prosecution by the Ministry for Primary Industries, Kim Te Ohorere Ormond-Daniel (24) and Edmond Taena Angell (24) were sentenced in the Papakura District Court on Monday 29 August. They pleaded guilty to seven joint charges under the Fisheries Act, including a charge of previously selling 277 spiny red crayfish online.
During Ministry inquiries, the pair admitted they had come down to Mahia to pick up crayfish to sell in Auckland for as much as $80 each through online Facebook chat groups.
In July 2020, police stopped a vehicle the pair were driving at a checkpoint in Northern Hawke’s Bay. They noticed the inside smelled strongly of seafood and called in Fishery Officers, who inspected the vehicle, finding four bins of crayfish, including 193 spiny red - 34 of which were undersized – a further 29 undersize packhorse crayfish, two crayfish carrying eggs, and one with a broken pleural spine.
Additionally, the MPI investigation uncovered evidence of past online black-market sales of 277 additional crayfish by the pair.
“One of the defendants admitted they had done this run before – taking crayfish from Mahia, and our investigation found evidence of previous online black-market sales by them.
MPI encourages people to report suspected illegal fishing activity through the Ministry's 0800 4 POACHER number (0800 47 62 24).
– Ministry of Primary industries