15 Jul 2020

Chatham Islands community angry after fisherman's sentencing

From Morning Report, 6:50 am on 15 July 2020

The Chatham Islands community has expressed their frustration and disappointment, following the sentencing of one of their fisherman yesterday.

Kevan Clarke - a former Chair of the Chatham Islands Fishery Association - was given nine months home detention and 200 hours of community service for failing to declare 11 tonnes of shellfish.

At the Wellington District Court yesterday morning, Judge Jan Kelly said there was an extensive level of planning and pre-meditation into the non-reporting of the fish.

The Ministry for Primary Industries say the concealing of 11 tonnes, made up of rock lobster and paua, was unprecedented.

Gary Cameron is the manager of the Paua MAC 4 Industry Association.

He told RNZ reporter Harry Lock - who was covering the sentencing yesterday - the actions of Clarke were particularly galling for a fishing community working hard to protect the fishery for the future.