Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Auckland fishing company convicted for fisheries offending

Auckland fishing company convicted for fisheries offending


10 February 2014

An Auckland-based commercial fishing company and its Nelson based skipper were sentenced on Friday 7 February in the Wellington District Court for making false statements on fishing returns for the 2009/10 commercial fishing season and bottom trawling in a protected area.

Antons Trawling Company Limited and Kyle Hasson, its then employee (skipper), were both convicted of making false or misleading statements in fishing effort returns contrary to section 230 of the Fisheries Act 1996.

Both defendants were also convicted of either making false or misleading statements in, or material omissions from, landing returns.

Antons Trawling Company Limited was also convicted of the associated offences of making false or misleading statements in their Monthly Harvest Returns in relation to a total of 31 tonnes of Alfonsino and Bluenose.

These convictions arose from two trips during 2010 when Mr Hasson fished a seamount known as the Rumble IV, which is approximately 100 nautical miles north of Cape Runaway and is predominantly inside the Central Fisheries Management Area. The 31 tonnes of fish had been falsely reported as having been taken from the Auckland Fisheries Management Area, when the fish had been taken from the Central Fisheries Management Area.

In addition to these convictions, both parties were sentenced on four charges relating to fishing in a marine conservation area closed to bottom trawling activity.

Fishers entering the Benthic Protection Area (an area closed in 2007 to protect marine biological life susceptible to damage by bottom trawling activities) are required to seek authorisation before conducting any trawling and carry at least two MPI observers.

On 18 January 2010 Mr Hasson entered this area - known as the Tectonic Reach - with a 45 metre stern trawler Seamount Explorer, but failed to advise MPI or carry any observers. Over two days he conducted seven bottom trawls inside the restricted area.

The defendants were sentenced on the basis that they had not deliberately bottom trawled in a protected area or falsified the returns, but they had failed to take reasonable steps to avoid the offending.

Antons Trawling Company Limited was today fined $56,525.00 for their offending, other than a single charge of failing to notify Fisheries Communication Centre before entering the Benthic Protected Area, for which they were convicted and discharged. In addition, the company will have to pay approximately $130,000 in deemed values for the fish that was incorrectly reported in the Auckland Fisheries Management Area. The company’s vessel was forfeit to the Crown with a redemption fee of $50,000 payable to have the vessel returned. Mr Hasson was fined a total of $9,100.00 on all charges.

MPI Investigations Manager, Steve Ham, says that this type of behaviour undermines the Quota Management System (QMS), which relies on accurate and consistent reporting of the areas where fish are caught.

“The information provided by commercial fishermen on their fishing returns is important for managing commercial fisheries and making sure they are sustainable. It also can provide anyone misreporting, regardless of whether or not the offending is deliberate, with an advantage over other fishers who may be reporting correctly” says Mr Ham.

“While the bottom trawling in the Benthic Protection Area by Mr Hasson in this case was not deliberate, the environmental value of these areas has been recognised and protected. It is important that the companies sending skippers to sea give them adequate training and resources so that mistakes such as this do not happen.

Mr Ham encourages fishing industry operators and non-commercial fishers to report any suspected illegal activity through the Ministry’s 0800 4 Poacher number (0800 4 76224).

“All calls are treated in confidence, and the information we receive helps stamp out any illegal fishing and helps ensure we have a sustainable fishery for future generations.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Debut, Mockingjay, And Drunk Texting

John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score.

The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s debut as Labour leader, which has received top marks, especially among the 25% of the electorate still voting Labour. According to some reports, the Labour caucus has been ‘in seventh heaven’ about Little’s success this week in taking it to the government in the House. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel. More>>

ALSO:

Glenn Inquiry: Report Offers Solutions To Family Violence

The People’s Blueprint unveiled today by Sir Owen Glenn’s independent inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence outlines a new, more cohesive and effective system for reducing New Zealand’s alarmingly high family violence rates. More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: Changing Climate And Rising Seas - Understanding The Science

A rising sea will be with us for a long time to come – one way or another we will have to adapt. But how high and how fast the water rises will be influenced by the speed at which the world – including New Zealand – reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. More>>

ALSO:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news