Ministry of Primary Industries explains why seized seafood can’t be eaten

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The Ministry for Primary Industries is advising people that it’s not safe to eat the kaimoana it’s seized during sting operations, despite requests from the public.

Illegal seafood hauls seized by MPI

Illegal seafood hauls seized by MPI Photo: Supplied

Earlier this month, more than 150 undersized pāua and nearly 3000 cockles that were illegally taken in Auckland were returned to the sea.

The ministry (MPI) compliance director Gary Orr said some people wanted the hauls – which include hundreds of kilograms of kaimoana held in cold storage as evidence each year – to go to vulnerable communities.

“Because we have no assurance over how that seafood was handled prior to us seizing it, it would just be too risky for us to donate it to food banks or anything like that,” Orr said.

“As soon as the court proceedings are over, we will dispose of it back into the ocean, putting it back into the foodchain.”

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They tried to immediately return to the sea any sealife seized during operations that might survive, he said.

Fisheries officers with the haul of paua seized today.

Fisheries officers with a haul of seized pāua. Photo: Supplied / Fisheries


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