Vessel And Fish Forfeit Following Investigation
23 October 2001.
Vessel and fish forfeit following investigation
The Captain and Fishing Master of a vessel involved in a recent Ministry of Fisheries investigation into illegal fishing within the 25 mile exclusion zone off the West Coast of the South Island have today been convicted, fined and their catch and vessel forfeit to the Crown.
In the Christchurch District Court today, the Captain and Fishing Master of the Fishing Vessel, Anyo Maru # 8, pleaded guilty to two charges each of fishing within the Closed Area on 19 August. Takeo Takahashi, the vessel's Captain and Hatsuya Abe, the Fishing Master on board were each fined a total of $11,000 and court costs of $260.
As a consequence of conviction, the vessel and product (fish) were forfeited. The value of the forfeit fish is in excess of NZ $100,000 and the market value of the forfeit vessel is NZ $5 million.
The Ministry of Fisheries Investigator in charge of the operation, Pete Southen said that the Ministry is particularly grateful to several members of the fishing industry and the NZ Navy Hydrographic Office without whom the success in this case would not have been possible.
Pete Southen also stated that that the 25 mile Exclusion Area is closed to vessels over 46 metres in length and is in place to assist smaller New Zealand based vessels compete in the lucrative Hoki fishery. "This closed area is designed to keep the large vessels out and let the smaller ones in, so they can compete".
The investigation into alleged breaches of the 25 mile zone by other vessels over 46 metres is continuing.
For further information please contact
Mike Green, telephone 04 460 4723