Ministry of Fisheries investigation into fishing vessel
13 July 2011
The Ministry of Fisheries is investigating the alleged discarding of fish on the Oyang 75 under the Fisheries Act 1996. The New Zealand quota management system (QMS) requires commercial fishers to land all QMS fish to Licensed Fish Receivers and also relies on the accurate reporting of all activities. Dumping of fish or the deliberate mis-reporting of catches are serious breaches of the Fisheries Act.
The Oyang 75 was chartered by New Zealand company Southern Storm Fishing (2007) Limited for the purposes of fishing New Zealand quota.
As part of the Ministry of Fisheries investigation of the Oyang 75, on 7 July a Fishery Officer exercised his powers and directed the vessel to enter Lyttelton Port so a search under the Fisheries Act could be conducted. The Oyang 75 complied with that directive. As part of the same investigation, Fishery Officers searched the vessel and the vessel’s officers were given directives to attend interviews at the Ministry of Fisheries beginning on 13 July in Christchurch. The Ministry of Fisheries has not detained or seized the vessel.
The Ministry of Fisheries is continuing to work with other agencies to ensure that all relevant investigations are carried out in a rigorous and robust manner.