Commercial fisherman convicted after MFish investigation into non reporting of catch
19 February 2009
Commercial fisherman Pedro Diaz, 53 from Kaitaia, was fined $16,000 in the Kaitaia District Court last week for eight serious offences against the Fisheries Act. He was also ordered to forfeit a chiller truck, two commercial fishing vessels and associated fishing equipment.
The offences relate to the unrecorded catch and sale of fish between 1st July and 31st October 2007. Fishery officers observed Mr. Diaz over a four week period fishing in the Rangaunu and Houhora harbours which he had not recorded in his documentation.
Mr Diaz was also ordered to pay $1,040 in Court costs and solicitor’s fees totalling $1,200.
“Whilst this is a positive outcome for the Ministry of Fisheries and the fishery officers involved in the case,” said District Compliance Manager Darren Edwards. “It is very disappointing to think that a local fisherman was failing to comply with the regulations and in doing so plundering the local fishery.”
The quota management system was established in 1986 to manage most of New Zealand’s major fisheries and is the cornerstone of the commercial fishing industry to ensure that we have a sustainable fishery both now and for future generations.
“Fishery officers cannot be everywhere and we rely on members of the public to contact us whenever they see any suspicious activity as was the case with Mr Diaz,” said Mr Edwards.
If you see any suspicious activity, please contact the Ministry of Fisheries on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476224).