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  • Paora Manuel

Ringleaders of Black-Market Crayfish Poaching Ring Sentenced

A Kawerau father-daughter duo, linked to a major black-market crayfish poaching ring, were sentenced this week.

49-year-old Martin Te Iwingaro Ernest Paul and his 26-year-old daughter, Whareake Tamaku Paul were sentenced in the Whakatane District Court on Wednesday.

They both pled guilty to illegally harvesting and selling, nearly 1500 crayfish from Mahia Peninsula between 2020 and 2021.

A Facebook raffle, caught the attention, with an investigation later discovering a major poaching operation.

Fisheries New Zealand said, it was a carefully coordinated and organised operation, with each crayfish being sold from 25 to 60 dollars.

Regional Compliance Manager Jodie Cole said, the pair were the ringleaders of the scheme.

Martin got 9 months home detention, and Whareake got 8 months home detention and 100 hours of community work.

Eight others, linked to the operation have also been sentenced to community work and fined.

Others are yet to appear before the court.


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