Recreational anglers are being warned they risk prosecution if caught buying or selling their catch after officials found two selling fish from car boots.

In one incident, a 50-year-old woman was caught selling mullet for $5-$9 per fish from her car in Whangarei.

In the other a middle-aged man and woman were also caught selling mullet, from the boot of their car in Kerikeri. The freshly-caught mullet was on sale for $3-$5 a fish.

In both cases the fish and vehicles were seized and the individuals involved are likely to face prosecution under the Fisheries Act 1996. The offence carries a maximum fine of $250,000.

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Ministry for Primary Industries compliance manager for Northland Darren Edwards said fish could only be sold by commercial fishermen or commercially-operated fish retailers.