Something suspicious: The restaurant fined $ 10,000 for poor seafood record keeping

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A Southland restaurant owner was fined over $ 10,000 for failing to keep proper records for the seafood they were moving between their two Te Anau restaurants.

Invercargill District Court
Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

Chan Farther and Son Limited was fined yesterday in Invercargill District Court, after pleading guilty to two counts under the Fisheries Act.

As early as 2016, the company was warned to move seafood between its two restaurants, China City and Ming Garden Chinese Restaurant in Te Anau, without the proper records.

However, an MPI inspection of restaurants in 2020 found six pounds of frozen pāua, bright blue cod, rock lobster, and Pacific oysters, with the latest bill dated the previous November.

Investigators also found frozen finfish, lobsters, wrasse and school sharks, frozen blue cod and hoki, for which the company was unable to provide invoices.

MPI Regional Head of Fish Compliance, Garreth Jay, said that at the time of the inspection, the company had already received a directive from the authority to maintain and maintain a fish sales system and to receive training from officers. fishing.

“When a seafood supplier does not have adequate bills, it creates doubts about the legitimacy of what they are doing, in this case, providing seafood meals in restaurants,” Jay said.

“To prevent this type of illicit seafood trade, the Fisheries Act requires solid record keeping so that fisheries officers can ensure it comes from a legitimate, sustainable and hygienic source.

“The lack of good record keeping can undermine our quota management system and the catch limits that are set to ensure sustainable fishing. When MPI finds evidence that these important rules have been ignored, it will investigate and take into account people and of companies where there is evidence of deliberate crime “.

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Jay said keeping proper records also assures customers that the seafood in their meals is safe and sourced sustainably.

Chan Farther and Son Limited was ordered to pay $ 10,400.

Jay said that if anyone is aware of suspicious fisheries they should contact MPI on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email ncc@mpi.govt.nz.



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