Black market seafood is recreational seafood catch that is sold or traded for financial reward. This would appear to be straightforward and should be clear to any MPI fishery officer that catches you selling or trading in seafood without commercial quota. The fines imposed are based on the number and retail value of the seafood confiscated by MPI.
However, when you investigate a little deeper into the black market trade, the size of the offending, and the ownership of the harvested seafood, things start to get a little murky.
Let's make one point very clear, at this time, any recreational or customary fisher who catches more than their daily catch allowance or catches and lands undersize seafood is a greedy scum bag, because those limits have been set to ensure sustainably of the fishery.
The commercial fish wholesalers are the sole reason the black market of our seafood is so prevalent. They have a legal, MPI supported monopoly over the tonnage and price of the seafood released onto the NZ local market.
When New Zealanders have asked for fresh reasonably priced seafood from our commercial fishers, what they got was a slap in the face from the seafood wholesalers who export all the top quality fish and purposely strive for higher retail prices for our favourite seafood. Most of our local trade fresh fish is export reject – fish that has been squashed in the nets or damaged while being caught.
One the reason the commercial fishers hate recreational fishers is because they are catching seafood they consider to be theirs, for free and are not buying it at the outrageous prices from one of their retail shops or supermarkets.
The reason commercial fishers hate the black market poachers who supply local trade, is because if the poachers supplied enough cheap same day fresh seafood to the market, they will have to drop the price of the commercially caught seafood that had been sitting in the fish hold of a commercial vessel for four days before being landed. It’s funny how commercial fishers call four-day-old fish – fresh fish.
The supermarkets have been known to dump into land fill or fish meal plants tons of fish that has gone past its usable date because the fish was five days old when they got it.
There is no valid reason why recreational fishers couldn't sell part or all of their recreational catch to one of the licenced fish receivers that are in most small seaside towns.
If you turned up at a local seaside restaurant with a few nice Snapper on ice the chef would know that this fresh iced fish will please his customers. The owner of the restaurant could then record the recreational fish and send the return to MPI.
We should have the best seafood restaurants and seaside cafes in the world, but we don't.
This system would shut down the unrecorded poaching by creating competition and force those poaching scumbags who insist on catching hundreds of fish or shellfish over their daily limit to have their fish recorded.
As a bonus, it could create thousands of part-time jobs for young people looking for a bit of extra cash. As a result, NZ’ers would have same day fish to eat in their restaurants, to supply our highest earning industry, Tourism.
There are many seaside cafés and restaurants that have export trucks full of commercially caught fish and shellfish going past their door every day and yet the fishing companies only ever offer frozen fish as supply.
In many of these small seaside communities, where the cafés are based there are retired people who recreational fish, they go out most days and could easily bring back some same day rod and reel caught fish.
In restaurants around the world, consumers are now looking on the menu to see if the seafood is line or hand caught, but not our commercial fishers, they still catch it by the ton.
Seaside cafes and restaurants around the world have locals supplying them with fresh same day hand caught fish, but not our cafes and restaurants that would be a crime.
Wholesale fish suppliers around the world supply reasonably priced seafood for their citizens, but not our commercial wholesalers. Our fish is cheaper in Australia and is so expensive in NZ that many of the staunch Catholics have had to by-pass fish on Friday.
The crayfish and paua industry need congratulating as they have exploited and over fished their industries to the point that now if you can find some to buy, it is now more expensive than methamphetamine.
That's really cool, because now the drug dealers now have two jobs, poaching Paua/Crayfish and dealing drugs, and for them the economy is looking good.
The police are never going to stop the manufacture of P because P is a poison and could never be made legal. To do so would increase the poison on our streets which kills/poisons and destroys the lives of thousands of NZ’ers each year?
The police and MPI could make local supply of seafood easier and reduce the poaching market of opportunity. The result would be more fresh healthy seafood for our people and seafood is something we want to have more of as opposed to P.
Sales Manager: Graham Carter P: 07 8551833 M: 021 02600437 E:
W: www.fishingoutdoors.org P.O. Box 10580, Te Rapa, Hamilton 3240 Facebook