Bay of Plenty man prosecuted for importing fish eggs
17 October 2011
The secretary of the New Zealand Killifish Association has been fined $6000 plus $132 court costs for importing fish eggs from Sweden and Denmark.
The prosecution was brought by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) after a parcel was intercepted at the Auckland International Mail Centre in October last year. The parcel contained three small plastic bags containing fresh peat moss with killifish eggs.
Erling Jensen, a 72-year-old engineer from Ohope, pleaded guilty in the Whakatane District Court last week to three counts of possessing and attempting to possess unauthorised goods, namely killifish eggs, under the Biosecurity Act 1993.
When interviewed by MAF, Mr Jensen admitted he knew that bringing fish eggs into New Zealand without authority was illegal. He admitted he had at other times utilised false names at real postal addresses and advised the Swedish supplier to send the fish eggs in bubble envelope to increase the chances of them entering the country undetected.
MAF Director Compliance and Enforcement Geoff Allen said he was pleased with the outcome of the case as it reinforced how seriously New Zealand treats its biosecurity.
“Importing any organic material without clearance, risks bringing pests and diseases into the country. It’s in every New Zealander’s interest to vigilantly protect our unique biodiversity and primary industries.
“The work at the border is an important part of New Zealand’s multi-layered biosecurity system and this is an example of how well our surveillance and monitoring works.”
Leigh Parker, Acting Manager Sector and Stakeholder, Telephone: 04-894 0715 or 029-894 0328, Email: email@example.com