After launching an investigation into a large scaled black market operation, fishery officers have seized a commercial fishing trawler, The New Fish II, as well as two refrigerated trucks in Tauranga, New Zealand. Snapper and a large amount of cash were also seized following searches of the crew’s homes.
The New Fish II, which is at the center of the investigation into black market fishing, is said to be operated by an Auckland company, ECZIW Fishing. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) have been reportedly monitoring its activities for the past two months. Surveillance showed much of the illegal activity happening in late night or early morning hours. This vessel was also involved in the apparent dumping of snapper, the main fish involved.
The investigation continues with the buyers of the black market fish. They appeared to be primarily takeaway outlets and unlicensed fish receiving businesses.