Sentencing in Gisborne rock lobster case
14 April 2011
The Ministry of Fisheries today reported the outcome of sentencing of the owner of a rock lobster fishing vessel for false catch reporting and laying illegal rock lobster pots.
Last week in the District Court at Gisborne, Judge B A Morris sentenced Jacob Kuil, owner of the vessel Perfect Pursuit. The defendant was fined a total of $6350, $5000 for the false reporting and $1350 for having rock lobster pots with illegal escape openings.
The boat, valued at $25,000, and a seized rock lobster pot were forfeit to the Crown.
Ministry Field Operations Manager Tom Teneti said that because the misreporting had happened in two fishery management areas, it had been difficult to quantify exact numbers of misreported rock lobster or their value.
However, the court said that 341 kilograms of rock lobster had been caught by Perfect Pursuit in the relevant time.
“This result will hopefully send a message that illegal activity in the commercial rock lobster fishery won’t be tolerated,” Mr Teneti said. “The Poverty Bay fishery is particularly sensitive and it’s important for its survival that all fishers – commercial, recreational and customary – behave responsibly. Otherwise there won’t be any of this iconic kaimoana left for the future.”