NZ FISHING COMPANY FINED FOR MARINE RESERVE BREACH
NZ fishing company fined for marine reserve breach A Nelson based New Zealand fishing company has been fined $27,600 for commercial fishing in a marine reserve, contrary to the Marine Reserves Act 1971.
Amaltal Fishing Co, owned by Talley’s Group, received its sentence in the Nelson District Court after previously being convicted for fishing in Hikurangi Marine Reserve, with its vessel the Amaltal Mariner. The vessel’s skipper was sentenced and fined last year.
The reserve, off the coast of Kaikōura, encompasses the Kaikōura Canyon, a biologically rich marine ecosystem which is totally protected from fishing, says Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI’s) fisheries compliance manager Steve Ham.
“We expect fishing companies and skippers to know the rules before they go out and we expect them to comply with them.
“Every commercial fishing vessel in New Zealand is required to carry digital monitoring gear which allows us to track their movements in real time. Because of this we were able to quickly uncover the offending and take action.”
On Sunday, 17 March 2019, at approximately 11.42am, the Amaltal Mariner began a trawl 900m inside the Hikurangi Marine Reserve. The net was towed into the Hikurangi Marine Reserve where it travelled along the seafloor for 10 to 12 minutes, covering a distance of between 1,100m and 1,400m. The trawl net was retrieved at 12.04pm.
The skipper had charts onboard that show the Hikurangi Marine Reserve but it was not marked on the vessel’s plotter.
“The rules are there for a good reason. We expect fishing companies and skippers to understand their obligations before they go out,” says Mr Ham.