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


Amaltal Found Guilty Of Fishing In A Protected Marine Reserve

A fishing company has been found guilty of illegally operating in a restricted area in a reserved decision at the Nelson District Court.

Amaltal Fishing Co Limited, owned by Talley’s Group, pleaded not guilty to charges related to fishing in a Marine Reserve.

The hearing took place in August, and Judge Rielly’s reserved decision has now been released. The skipper of the Amaltal Mariner pleaded guilty and was sentenced and fined earlier this year.

Amaltal Fishing Co Ltd argued that it was not liable for the master’s offending, as he was employed by a different company within the Talley’s group.

However, Judge Rielly held that the actions of the skipper of a vessel can, and should, be attributed to the vessel’s operator.

Judge Rielly said, “In the context of increasingly complicated limited liability company structures, it is important that the integrity of the Marine Reserves Act is maintained. It would be an unfortunate outcome at law if the consequences intended by parliament could be evaded based on advanced company structures”.

The Ministry for Primary Industries, which investigated the offending and took the prosecution, said the decision sends a strong message to companies that break the rules.

“The Hikurangi Marine Reserve, off the coast of Kaikōura, encompasses the Kaikōura Canyon, reputedly the most biologically rich ocean habitat known in the world at depths of below 500 metres. All marine life and habitats within it are totally protected,” said MPI’s manager fisheries compliance, Steve Ham.

“The vessel, called the Amaltal Mariner, was bottom trawling for orange roughy when it entered the marine reserve.

“MPI expects fishing companies and skippers to know the rules before they go out and we expect them to comply with them. A marine reserve is a fully protected area where you're not allowed to fish.

“We can track the position of fishing vessels in real time using GPS technology so we were alerted when the vessel entered the marine reserve.

“On Sunday 17 March 2019, at approximately 11.42am, the Amaltal Mariner started a bottom trawl 900 metres inside the Hikurangi Marine Reserve. The net was towed into the Reserve where it travelled along the seafloor for 10-12 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 electornic plotter.”

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).

Amaltal Fishing Co Ltd will be sentenced on a date to be set by the Court.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Worksafe’s Whakaari/White Island Prosecutions Are Good News

Somewhere in Heaven, Helen Kelly must be smiling about Worksafe’s criminal prosecution of 10 firms and three individuals for their roles in the lead up to the Whakaari /White Island tragedy. In tandem with the subsequent coronial inquest, these court proceedings will hopefully culminate in the creation ( finally!) of a central agency to regulate the adventure tourism sector and improve public safety on matters like risk assessment, safety guidelines, inspection, enforcement and injury reporting... More>>


Carbon Neutral Policy: Gov Declares Climate Emergency

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. More>>


Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>


WorkSafe: 13 Parties Charged Over Whakaari/White Island Tragedy

WorkSafe New Zealand today filed charges against 13 parties in relation to the Whakaari/White Island eruption in December last year. “22 people have lost their lives in this tragic event. WorkSafe is tasked with investigating workplace incidents to determine ... More>>


Tax: Government Fulfils Election Undertaking On New Top Tax Rate

The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. More>>


Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels