Fishing company director fined $7000 for failure to renew permit & registration
September 1, 2004
John Stewart Cliff, a director of the fishing company Chinook Ltd, was fined $7000 in the Tauranga District court after the company's bottom long-line vessel, Chinook, had twice fished after the expiry of the vessel's permit and certificate of registration.
The offences occurred in September 2003 when the Chinook was commercial fishing without a current fishing permit and from an unregistered vessel as a result of the company's failure to renew these commercial fishing authorities at the end of the previous fishing year.
Mr Cliff was identified as the company director responsible for renewing these authorities and his failure to do so resulted in his conviction on four charges and a fine of $7000 was imposed. He was also ordered to pay court costs of $130 on each of four charges.
In sentencing the director, Judge Blaikie said that although a maximum penalty of up to $250,000 applied for commercial fishing without a current permit, this was not a case of blatant disregard. However, he said fishers needed to take the initiative to renew their licenses and permits rather than relying on reminders sent in the mail.
Fisheries Prosecutor Morgan Dunn also acknowledged that this offending was towards the lower end of the scale and this was reflected in the level of penalty imposed.
However, Ministry of Fisheries Tauranga District Compliance Manager, Brendon Mikkelsen, noted that commercial fishers had to ensure they were aware of the renewal dates of their commercial fishing authorities.
"They must also ensure that these are actioned appropriately so that their commercial status is maintained into the following fishing year," he said.
For further information please contact :
Ministry of Fisheries
Phone: (07) 574-5100
Mobile: (0274) 913118.