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Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

An Auckland fish dealer who failed to provide accurate sales records for the pāua he was purchasing has been fined $2,000 and ordered to do 40 hours community work.

Cheuk Kin Chung (67) was sentenced in the Manukau District Council on one charge he pleaded guilty to under the Fisheries Act (Recordkeeping Regulations 1990), following a successful prosecution by Fisheries New Zealand.                     

Mr Chung is a fish dealer and the sole director of New Silver Bell 2008 & 2013 Ltd which receives fish for the purpose of sale. During an inspection of his records by Fisheries New Zealand fishery officers in October 2022, they found 51 invoices that did not comply with the regulations.

“Most seafood dealers take their record keeping seriously because they know that not having correct invoices undermines the traceability of the fish and casts suspicion as to whether it was legally caught,” says Fisheries New Zealand regional manager, fisheries compliance, Andre Espinoza.

Mr Chung told fishery officers he had been selling fish for over 30-years, yet despite being educated and warned in the past by Fisheries New Zealand, he wasn’t following his legal obligations which include evidence of the date of a transaction, the contact details of the person supplying the fish, along with the species, species state, weight, and price.

“The message to all fish dealers is simple – ensure your record keeping is accurate, because there are consequences. Traceability assures the buyer, they’ve purchased seafood from a legitimate dealer and Mr Chung compromised his reputation by failing to live up to these important checks and balances,” says Andre Espinoza.

MPI encourages people to report suspected illegal activity through the ministry’s 0800 4 POACHER number (0800 47 62 24)

For further information and general enquiries, call MPI on 0800 00 83 33 or email

For media enquiries, contact the media team on 029 894 0328.