Sustained failure to complete paper work costs Auckland commercial fisherman nearly $7000
27 August 2003
An Auckland fisherman who failed to complete any daily Catch Effort & Landing Returns (CELRs) or Monthly Harvest Returns (MHRs) for nearly eight months while continuing to fish has been sentenced to pay a total of $6890 in fines and costs.
The court heard that Vaughn Nigel Curtis started fishing the vessel Marianna 2 in August 2001 and completed 28 fishing trips between then and early the following May. However 20 of those trips were completed without any paperwork being filled out.
As a result of being prosecuted for those breaches, Curtis was found guilty earlier this year on charges of failing to fill out MHRs and charges of failing to fill out CELRs and was ordered to complete and furnish the proper returns before he was sentenced.
When he appeared for sentencing in the Auckland District Court on August 4 Curtis received fines and Court costs totalling $6,890.
District Compliance Manager Ian Bright says the substantial fines received by Curtis show how seriously both the Ministry and the courts view the failure by commercial fishermen to complete and provide the appropriate paperwork. The Ministry had undertaken a substantial educational drive to inform fishers of the requirements but sadly some have not taken heed of the message.
"The successful operation of the Quota Management System depends on the basic honesty and integrity of those working in the commercial fishing sector and the timely and accurate furnishing of returns is a cornerstone of the QMS," he says. Failure to do so has the potential to seriously undermine the management of the nation's fisheries.
"Deliberate breaches of that trust will always be thoroughly and vigorously investigated by the Ministry."
For more information please contact:
Ministry of Fisheries
Phone: (09) 820 7660
Mobile: (025) 431 052