The guy, who resides in Vietnam, was caught out by airport security who spotted his trousers were wet because of the seven fish in his pockets, but he claimed he was simply carrying water from the aeroplane because he was thirsty.
Craig Hughes, Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) spokesman, said: “This appears to be a deliberate attempt to smuggle fish into the country without any consideration of the biosecurity risk involved.
“That’s something we take very seriously. The fish could have been carrying diseases or have the potential to displace native species.”
The man, who was travelling from Australia, was transporting the fish in plastic bags in his pockets but came unstuck when they began to leak.