Locals' concern leads to fisheries seizures
1 August 2007
Information from concerned far-North locals has lead to fishery officers seizing a chiller truck and two small boats belonging to a commercial netting operation.
Ministry of Fisheries Whangarei district compliance manager Darren Edwards said locals starting calling a few months ago concerned about the actions of a group of net-fishers working harbours in the far-North, targeting yellow-eyed mullet, flounder and kahawai.
Mr Edwards said fishery officers carried out surveillance for several months before confronting the fishers with allegations of misreporting commercial catch.
“We’ve interviewed a Kaitaia man in relation to serious offences under the Fisheries Act.”
The following items have been seized while a detailed investigation takes place:
- Three-tonne chiller truck
- 5 metre alloy boat
- 5.5 metre plywood boat
- Associated fishing nets and equipment
- Numerous documents
“Our fishery is a finite resource and one of the measures that we have in place to regulate the commercial fishing industry is the Quota Management System.”
“When people start fishing outside the rules, that undermines the future of our fisheries.”
Mr Edwards said the Quota Management System is reliant on the timely and accurate reporting by commercial fishers.
“Those who choose to run the risk of working around or outside the boundaries of the Quota Management System will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“It’s very pleasing that the community doesn’t tolerate this type of fishing and let MFish know about it.”
“Fishery officers can’t be everywhere, but we can be very effective with help from the public. I encourage anyone to contact The Ministry of Fisheries on 0800 4 POACHER
(0800 476 224) if they see any suspicious fishing activity.”