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You can list Whitebait for sale on Trade Me

You can sell the whitebait you catch on the site! All other foods are subject to food safety regulations

8 March 2021

Good news for whitebait sammy-lovers and fritter connoisseurs: you can buy and sell whitebait on Trade Me.

Whitebait has been in caught up in the food category of our banned and restricted items list and we didn’t allow it to be sold unless it had emerged from a registered premises, under an approved food safety programme or registered risk management programme.

Listings also had to comply with food labelling and standards requirements.

A full on example of beaucratic red tape right?

This week we received an email from a Trade Me member who reckoned whitebait could be legally sold without adhering to the regular food safety requirements according to the Animal Products (Exemptions and Inclusions) Amendment Order 2005.

So we had a look and thought they might be right.

We chatted to the Department of Conservation and the official word is that whitebait is the only fish species in NZ allowed to be sold by recreational fishers – if you can catch it, you can sell it.

The guts is that whitebait is excluded from requiring a registered risk management programme certification and can be sold legally without meeting the standard food safety requirements.

This is because it has been determined a low-risk product when balanced against the compliance costs and consumption level.

We say that's just bloody commonsense.

We like 'westcoast' whitebait sandwiches and fritters as much as the next person, so it’s great that Trade Me is now a place where delicious whitebait can be bought and sold.

Make sure you sell it for a fixed quantity rather than by a price per kilo basis.

The whitebait fishing season for most of New Zealand opens on 15 August and runs until November 30. On the West Coast the whitebait season runs from 1 September until 14 November.

Remember though - if you're selling cakes or other food products on Trade Me, you're probably captured by the regulations and any food prepared for sale will need to have come from an approved kitchen.

Creative Commons image used courtesy Ian Carvell on Flickr.

Here fishy fishy!