19 Jun 2012

Officer locked ship crewman in fish storage area, court told

1:10 pm on 19 June 2012

A court has heard that an officer of Korean-owned fishing vessel Oyang 75 entertained himself by locking crew members in a fish storage area.

Five of the vessel's Korean officers are accused of illegally dumping up to 1000 tonnes of New Zealand quota fish valued at almost $1.3 million during two trips to New Zealand waters last year and of making false statements.

The Korean officers have failed to appear at Christchurch District Court.

An affidavit from Ministry of Fisheries observer Susannah Barham, who was on board the vessel, was read out in court on Tuesday.

In it, she described how one of the officers became very drunk and, for no apparent reason, locked away a crew member in a fish storage area.

Ms Barham said she was appalled by that behaviour and immediately intervened because it was unsafe.