Northland fishermen charged under the Fisheries Act
31 October 2008
Two Northland fishermen have appeared in Court in relation to separate offences under the Fisheries Act.
Kaitaia commercial fisher, Roy Campbell, 27, was sentenced in the Kaitaia District Court earlier this month in relation to charges dating back to 2000, which involved failing to return Quota Management Returns required by commercial fishers.
He was sentenced to a fine of $400 plus Court costs of $280.
He is also charged with failing to comply with a lawful request, which relates to an incident in October 2007, where Campbell refused to attend an interview with fishery officers to discuss his commercial fishing activities in the area. This relates to Campbell’s alleged involvement as a crew member on a vessel suspected to be involved in illegal fishing. He was convicted and fined $3,430.
“This is an extremely good result for the Ministry of Fisheries and a reminder to the industry that fishery officers are tasked with ensuring that the integrity of the Quota Management System is maintained,” says District Compliance Manager, Darren Edwards.
Meanwhile, an Opononi man has been sentenced in the Kaikohe District Court after being caught with almost 150 undersize paua.
Kene Te Whata, 47, appeared in the Kaikohe District Court last month facing charges of possessing excess paua after he was apprehended by fishery officers in January this year while diving on the reefs at Kawerua.
He was caught with 147 paua, all of which were undersize – the daily limit is 10 per person per day.
He was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and his dive gear was forfeit.
“This is an excellent result for the Ministry of Fisheries who regularly patrol the west coast’s paua areas,” says Mr Edwards.
“Fisheries rules are there to protect the resource for the whole population and those who are considering ignoring these rules should be aware that their chances of being caught are high and the consequences serious.”
People are reminded that if they see any suspicious activity to contact the Ministry of Fisheries on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 4 76224).