charges laid against master of 701 don fico
23 July 2001
Charges Laid Against Master Of 701 Don Fico
The Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) has now laid charges against the master of the fishing vessel 701 Don Fico which, with its catch, was seized in Nelson on 16 July.
The 701 Don Fico is flagged in Panama, is Korean owned and has been under charter to Sanford South Island. The vessel had been fishing in the Hake 4 (Challenger Plateau) and the Hake 7 (southeast Chatham Rise) Quota Management Areas, see Hake background below.
The 701 Don Fico is currently in Nelson under 24 hour guard. In order to obtain its release, the Master of the vessel would need to apply to the Court for its release on bond.
The action on 16 July followed MFish's seizure of another fishing vessel, Dong Won 519, and its product, on 30 June at the port of Timaru. The Dong Won 519 is Korean owned and has been under charter to Sanford South Island. It had been in the same fishing grounds. MFish has also charged the Master of the Dong Won 519.
The Masters of both vessels have been summonsed to appear at the Wellington District Court early next month.
Both actions are part of what is now a much wider investigation of vessels fishing the Hake 4 and Hake 7 fishing grounds. MFish is looking closely at other vessels fishing in these areas, will analyse their catch and may interview them.
Background on Hake 4 & Hake 7
edited extract from Ministry of Fisheries Plenary Report; full report and map available here on this Web site:
Hake are widely distributed through the middle depths of the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone waters. Hake are taken by large trawlers - often as bycatch in fisheries targeting other species such as hoki and southern blue whiting, although target fisheries also exist.
Present management practices divide the fishery into three main fish stocks:
the Challenger QMA (HAK 7)
the southeast (Chatham Rise) QMA (HAK 4)
- the remainder of the EEZ comprising the Auckland, Central, southeast (Coast), Southland and Sub-Antarctic QMAs (HAK 1). In addition, a fish stock is defined for the Kermadec QMA (HAK 10) although there are no recorded landings from this area.
In HAK 1 (where most of the catch originates from the Southern Plateau) and HAK 4 (Chatham Rise), hake have been caught mainly as bycatch by trawlers targeting hoki.
The largest fishery is off the west coast of the South Island (HAK 7).
This fishery has generally consisted of bycatch in the much larger hoki fishery, but it has undergone a number of changes during the last decade. These include changes to the TACCs of both hake and hoki, and also changes in fishing practices such as gear used, tow duration, and strategies to limit hake bycatch. In some years, notably in 1992 and 1993, there has been a hake target fishery in September after the peak of the hoki fishery is over; over 2500 t of hake were taken in this target fishery during September 1993. Since then, however, there has been no significant target fishery in September.
The New Zealand hake reach a maximum age of at least 25 years of age. Males, which rarely exceed 100 cm total length (TL), do not grow as large as females, which can grow to 120 cm TL or more. Both sexes reach sexual maturity between 6 and 10 years of age, at lengths of about 67-75 cm TL (males) and 75-85 cm TL (females).
The correct shortened version of the Ministry of Fisheries' name is MFish, NOT MAF, which is the shortened version for an entirely separate organisation, the Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry. This situation has applied since 1995.
For further information please contact
Mike Green, telephone 025 429 419