Tavern owner wants charges dumped

Last updated 07:10 09/11/2012

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A Picton tavern owner who did not label the fish in his freezer so fisheries officers could verify it was legitimate, wants charges against him thrown out.

Shane Murray Boese, who owns the Crow Tavern in Picton, argues a conviction would stop him sitting on a recreational fishing council.

He has admitted a charge of failing to keep a record of fish held at the tavern under fisheries legislation.

Judge Tony Zohrab on Wednesday remanded the case until December 5 so Boese could provide proof a conviction would stop him from being on the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council.

Defence lawyer Tim Spear argued that while Boese knew he had to label the fish, he had not gotten around to it. It was not a deliberate breach of the law.

The Primary Industries Ministry argued the charges against Boese should not be thrown out. The consequences of not being able to sit on the recreational council were not serious enough to warrant a discharge without conviction, it said.

The summary of facts said that someone who owned a tavern, restaurant or takeaway shop selling fish was required to buy fish from a licensed fish seller, commercial fisher or fish farmer.

A record of each purchase of fish and its storage on the premises was required so a fisheries officer could verify at any time that all fish had been acquired legitimately.

Recreational fish could also be kept on the premises, if detailed records of the fish included when it arrived on the premises and how it was used or disposed of.

In January, fisheries officers visited the Crow Tavern and spoke to Boese about a fishing competition the tavern was planning to run.

They visited again in February.

A fisheries officer then inspected the Crow Tavern in March and Boese told him he had some fish and scallops in an outside freezer but had not got around to dealing with them.

The officer found 70 fish that Boese could not produce records for.

Boese said some of the fish was for his own use and some of the skeletons were rubbish he intended to dump, which had come from a previous fishing charter.

The Primary Industries Ministry said record-keeping of commercially caught fish by people who sold fish was a crucial link in being able to trace fish.

It was essential that people who sold fish commercially were able to show through their records they had bought their fish lawfully. Fairfax NZ

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- The Marlborough Express

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