MFish finds trawler responsible for floating fish near Raglan
November 17, 2004
Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) officers investigating the large number of fish found floating off the Raglan coast last week say they are making good progress into determining what caused the incident.
The officer in charge of the investigation, Fishery Officer Patrick Lynch from the Ministry's Hamilton office, says they have identified the trawler from which the fish came and interviewed the skipper and two crewmembers.
"The vessel, a small inshore trawler operated by an independent fisher, was visited by MFish staff in Nelson and its skipper has admitted that his was the boat responsible for the floating fish," he says.
"The skipper has told us that the fish were in the water as a result of a tear in the trawler's net and that this tear was repaired as soon as it was noticed. We are now investigating this claim."
The investigation includes inspecting the trawler's catch from their week-long trip, having their fishing gear examined by a local expert and seizing and inspecting catch records for this time.
Fishery Officer Lynch says he and his team are very happy with the level of co-operation they received from west coast fishers following discovery of the floating fish and are still keen to talk to anyone else who may have further information about the incident.