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5 Accused Fishing Companies Named On Nelson Radio

Five Accused Fishing Companies accused of misreporting catch in operation "PURSE" named by Nelson Radio Station


By Liam Butler
Editor - portfocus.co.nz
Thursday, 12th February, 2004

According to Lesley Hamilton, News Editor for Fifeshire, FM Ministry of Fisheries officials have said five companies accused involved are Matariki Ltd, Telco NZ Ltd, Tawera Fishing, Nelson Fisheries Ltd and Sealords. The vessels that have been taken for analysis are the Matariki 2 lt and Tawera 2.

The Ministry of Fisheries alleges five commercial fishing companies have misreported their catch. The allegation stems from a Ministry of Fisheries Tauranga-based operation named "PURSE" which is currently underway.

A total 27 Fishery Officers are involved in the execution of the operation at five fishing industry companies, three in Tauranga, one in Wellington and one in Nelson. During the investigation commercial premises were examined.

Two of these Tauranga based companies each own and operate a registered commercial "purse seine" (bulk fishing method) vessel. Both vessels have been seized. They have a combined estimated valuation of $3,200,000.

One of these vessels has been estimated to have taken in excess of 948,000 kilograms of fish unlawfully, in that it is alleged the vessel was operating without a fishing permit and certificate of registration. Both a valid fishing permit and certificate of registration are the primary authorisations that allow a commercial fisherman to take fish for the purpose of sale.

A majority of this fish is alleged to have been landed to a Tauranga-based licensed fish receiver.

It is alleged that through the utilisation of five fishing permits between the two vessels involved, large quantities of fish have been misreported, on top of the fish alleged to have been taken without authority. In some cases, fishing returns have also been provided late.

Two of these Tauranga based companies each own and operate a registered commercial "purse seine" (bulk fishing method) vessel. Both vessels have been seized. They have a combined estimated valuation of $3,200,000

ENDS

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