300kg of crayfish left to rot at Chatham Islands dump site

Three hundred kilograms of crayfish has been left to rot at a dumpsite on the Chatham Islands. 

The company that had a quota to take the crays has explained the waste as an "extremely unfortunate systems failure" at one of their live tank sites. 

In a video posted to Facebook, a Chatham Islands resident stumbles across a dumping site. 

"I've never seen anything more disturbing in my life," the resident says.

The extent of the waste is revealed in just a few seconds - thousands of dead crayfish. The crayfish had been caught by Port Nicholson Fisheries in an arrangement with Moana New Zealand - the company that owns the quota.  

But they had to be dumped after the live tank they were kept in failed.

"Absolutely f**king shameful. Thousands of crayfish," the resident said. "That's a whole f**king family feed right there."

Moana New Zealand says the intake valve on the live tank became blocked, meaning the crayfish were left without water and they died.

The company said the product was deemed unsafe for human consumption. Inshore manager Mark Ngata told Newshub his staff checked the live tanks daily. 

"I'm never happy and neither is Moana happy that this sort of thing happens but the reality is systems do break down from time to time."

That system breakdown has cost the company $30,000 in a product that was destined for China. 

The live tank had alarms for the pump system failures but not for the inflow and outflow of water. 

"We are looking at that at the moment," Ngata said. "Whether it's an alarm or some other sensor."

The crays were dumped on farmland at an approved site for fish waste. The Ministry for Primary Industries says it was notified of the incident and is investigating.