FISHING VESSEL SEIZED IN GISBORNE
18 October 2000
Gisborne Fishery Officers today seized a fishing vessel after it was apprehended, allegedly fishing illegally, inside the Ngati Konohi Kaitiaki area on the Gisborne coast. A quantity of rock lobster, including some undersize, was also seized.
Inquiries in relation to the incident are continuing, and Fishery Officers have spoken to three persons in connection with the matter.
Ministry of Fisheries District Compliance Manager Napier, Ray McKay, said the boat seizure was the result of recent operational work targeting fishers allegedly operating illegally in Ngati Konohi waters.
Currently the Gisborne rock lobster fishery is closed to recreational and commercial fishers.
Those involved may face charges under the Fisheries (Kaimoana Customary Fishing) Regulations 1998, which have a maximum penalty of $5000 for the first offence.
Charges are also being considered under the Fisheries Act 1983 and the Fisheries (Amateur Fishing Regulations) 1986. If charged and convicted, those involved may face fines of up to $250,000 and the automatic forfeiture of the vessel and associated equipment. 2.
Ngati Konohi Kaitiaki are the tangata whenua holding manawhenua manamoana over the area/rohe moana. The Kaitiaki are the only persons who can legitimately authorise permits for the gathering of kaimoana for customary food gathering within the area Tatapouri to Waihau Beach, Gisborne.
Customary permits authorised by other groups or individuals do not have any authority within the Kaitiaki boundaries. Anyone who disregards the authority of the local Konohi Kaitiaki risks prosecution and the seizure of vessels and vehicles by the Ministry of Fisheries.
Anyone unsure of their legal obligation in relation to fisheries matters should contact a Fishery Officer at the Gisborne Ministry of Fisheries office. If people wish to obtain information regarding customary fishing in the Ngati Kanohi Kaitiaki area they should contact the Tangata Kaitiaki.