Group charged in illegal crayfishing case

Last updated 16:23 04/07/2014

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Ten people facing charges after an undercover crayfish operation in Kaikoura appeared in court today and were remanded without entering pleas.

They will appear again in the Kaikoura District Court on August 8 on charges ranging from taking and selling crayfish illegally to allowing premises to be used as an offence against the Fisheries Act.

Oaro men Trevor David Smith, retired, and John Anthony Parker, unemployed, both appeared on a charge of taking crayfish between August 2013 and March this year.

Christopher Lindsay Leggett, unemployed, is charged with taking crayfish between May 2013 and March this year.

Mark Anthony Ruston, unemployed, and Stephen John Palmer, retired, are both charged with taking crayfish together between March last year and March this year.

Christopher Bull, unemployed, and beneficiary Brent John Rodgers are charged with obtaining a benefit by selling crayfish, along with Shane Robert Crouch, a Blenheim machine operator.

Wayne Francis Barker, a Kaikoura possum hunter, faces a charge of obtaining a benefit by selling crayfish and paua.

Susan Birnie, retired, of Kaikoura, is charged with knowingly allowing premises to be used as an offence against the Fisheries Act between May 2013 and March this year.

The accused were remanded so they can get legal advice or legal aid and will be expected to enter a plea at their next court appearances.

The Ministry for Primary Industries seized 10 cars, five boats and a tractor when they searched 32 properties during the undercover operation.

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