Southland Seafood Restaurant Owner Fined $10,400 Over Failure To Keep Fish Sales Records


A Southland company has been fined $10,400 after failing
to keep a fish sales record system for seafood it was moving
between its Te Anau restaurants.

Chan Farther and Son
Limited was sentenced in the Invercargill District Court on
12 May following a successful prosecution by the Ministry
for Primary Industries after the company earlier pleaded
guilty to two charges under the Fisheries Act.

“When
a seafood supplier lacks the proper invoices, it creates
questions over the legitimacy of what they’re doing – in
this case, providing fish meals in
restaurants.

“Most people in the hospitality
business do the right thing so that consumers can be assured
the seafood in the meals they’re buying is safe and comes
from a sustainable source,” says MPI Regional Manager Fish
Compliance, Garreth Jay.

The company has two
restaurants based in Te Anau and both received warnings
about moving seafood between the businesses without the
appropriate invoices as early as 2016 and 2018. As a result,
the company was issued a direction by MPI in 2019 requiring
it to keep and maintain a fish sales system along with being
provided education by fishery officers.

However, in
2020, an inspection by MPI of the two restaurants, China
City and Ming Garden Chinese Restaurant in Te Anau found six
kilos of frozen pāua between both businesses with the last
invoice at China City having a purchase date of 2 November
2019.

During the inspection, live blue cod, rock
lobster and pacific oysters were discovered. There was also
frozen stargazer fin fish, rock lobster, wrasse fin fish and
school shark, along with frozen blue cod and hoki. The
company was unable to provide invoices for any of this
seafood.

“To prevent this kind of illicit trade in
seafood, robust record keeping is a required under fisheries
law so that Fishery Officers can ensure it comes from a
legitimate, sustainable, and hygienic source.

“A
lack of good record keeping can undermine our quota
management system and catch limits which are set to ensure
sustainable fisheries. When MPI finds evidence of these
important rules being ignored – it will investigate and
hold people and businesses to account where there is
evidence of deliberate offending,” says Garreth
Jay.

If you become aware of any suspicious fishing
activity, call us on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email
ncc@mpi.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

 



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