A CHRISTMAS crackdown on oyster thieves is underway in Australia.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries on Thursday launched Operation Trident targeting the theft or illegal sale of oysters during the peak sale season.
NSW Food Authority Director of Compliance, Investigation and Enforcement, Peter Day, said the black market oyster trade posed a health risk to consumers.
“Consumers are being urged to be our eyes and ears on the streets this Christmas,” he said in a statement.
“Most illegal seafood is stored in the backs of unrefrigerated trucks and we strongly advise against anyone consuming seafood if they don’t know where it’s come from.”
The operation – which consists of covert surveillance and open investigations – will use officers of the NSW Food Authority and NSW Police, as well as consultation from the NSW Farmer’s Association.
Superintendent Mark Hutchings of NSW Police Marine Area Command said the community must play its role in stamping out the illegal seafood trade.
He urged anyone approached by someone trying to sell cheap oysters to ring Crime Stoppers. -AAP