Friday, July 24, 2020

This is how you deal with criminal fishers

In October 2018, Sealord's fishing boat Ocean Dawn repeatedly bottom-trawled in a Benthic Protection Area on the Chatham Rise. It was a crime which devastated a pristine marine environment. And today, they've been properly punished for it:

Sealord has today been ordered to forfeit a $24 million fishing vessel for bottom trawling in a protected area.

The company was also ordered to pay a $24,000 fine in Nelson District Court for trawling in a Benthic Protected Area.


In addition to the vessel Ocean Dawn being forfeit, the proceeds from the sale of the entire catch taken in the five offending trawls is also forfeit which amounts to $1,12294.13.

The captain and first mate were also convicted and fined. Hopefully it means they won't work in the industry again.

There will no doubt be appeals, but hopefully this penalty will stick. And its absolutely appropriate for a company which repeatedly violated a reserve. Hopefully it means that the fishing industry will get the message that this sort of criminality is not acceptable. And hopefully they'll start handing down similar penalties for catch fraud as well.