Pair admit illegal lobster sale

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An adult rock lobster. Photo / WTA
An adult rock lobster. Photo / WTA

Two people have admitted to selling rock lobster gathered with authorisation for whanau gatherings.

Jason Barron Brown, 38, and Linda Maria Douglas, 41, both from Hastings, admitted seven charges of intending to obtain a benefit by knowingly selling fish.

Brown had received authorisations by a kaitiaki to gather rock lobster for whanau gatherings but instead, with Douglas' help, sold some of the lobster. Fisheries regulations allow kaitiaki to authorise the gathering of fish in quantities and sizes which may normally breach fisheries legislation, for the purposes of a hui or tangi.

Of the six authorisations received over May, June and July last year, allowing the taking of 770 spiny rock lobster, two were for whanau gatherings, three were issued for fictitious purposes and one was for a legitimate event but some of the catch was sold or offered for sale.

These were taken using pots in and around black reef and the catch would be sold from Brown's Hastings home. In total, at least 167 lobster were sold.

At Hastings District Court yesterday they both also pleaded guilty to a representative charge for similar offending over the same time period.

They were remanded at large for sentencing in September.

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