A former South West Rocks restaurant owner and chef have been fined on multiple charges after a fisheries inspection found illegal quantities of seafood on the premises.
Hastings District Fisheries Officers attended a restaurant and cafe at South West Rocks in May 2019 where they conducted a post-harvest inspection of the premises.
Following a quality inspection and audit, 23 mud crabs, 35 blue swimmer crabs, 2 coral crabs and 2 Balmain bugs were allegedly discovered. Fisheries officers said prescribed records for the possession and providence of these crustaceans were not provided.
Kempsey Local Court heard the matter where four charges were laid under section 123A(1)(b) of the Fisheries Management Act (FMA) 1994 for not producing prescribed records for a commercial quantity of fish.
Both parties entered a plea of guilty on the charges and on September 20, at the sentencing hearing, the court imposed fines totaling $4,300 plus court costs. The restaurant was fined $1,500 per charge and the head chef $650 per charge.
The restaurant is now under new ownership and management.
A $500 penalty notice was also issued to a 60 year-old South West Rocks man for supplying seafood to the restaurant without having a commercial fishing licence.
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