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Tourist has fish confiscated at airport

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/05/2016
Auckland Airport © Courtesy of Auckland Airport Auckland Airport

A tourist has had live Siamese fighting fish confiscated at Auckland Airport after he tried bringing them into the country in plastic bags filled with water.

The man travelling to New Zealand from Vietnam last weekend did declare to the Ministry for Primary Industries he was carrying "wet fish" but biosecurity staff thought he was joking.

"The traveller's English wasn't very fluent and we initially thought he was carrying frozen or dried fish," MPI manager David Sims said.

"It was a surprise when he pulled out the plastic bags."

The freshwater fish were seized and were later euthanised.

"We're pleased the passenger knew to declare the fish.

"They came from an unknown source so may have been carrying diseases that could devastate local freshwater fish populations."

While unusual, it's not the first time that someone has tried to bring live fish into the country after a Vietnamese man was caught smuggling tropical fish in his pant pockets in 2013.

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