8 Mar 2020

Amaltal denies fishing in Hikurangi Marine Reserve

12:17 pm on 8 March 2020

The deepwater division of Nelson-based fishing company Talley's has denied a charge of fishing in a marine reserve off Kaikōura.

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Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

Meanwhile, the skipper of the Amaltal Mariner has indicated a likely guilty plea through his lawyer in the Nelson District Court.

The charges brought by the Ministry for Primary Industries relate to an incident last March when the vessel was alleged to have been fishing in the Hikurangi Marine Reserve.

The protected reserve sits near the Kaikōura township, and is a haven for whale, dolphin, and seabird species.

MPI initially laid two pairs of charges against the company and skipper, relating to incidents in December 2018 and March 2019.

The December charges were withdrawn through lack of evidence.

Amaltal has denied the remaining charge of fishing in the reserve last March, and will now go to a case review hearing.

The skipper, Darryle Saunders, was at sea for the scheduled court appearance this week, but his lawyer entered an intimated guilty plea.

He is to be sentenced next month.