28 Nov 2010

Owners of foreign vessels fined for fishing in NZ waters

2:47 pm on 28 November 2010

The Taiwanese owners of two foreign fishing vessels have been fined $220,000 each for illegally fishing in New Zealand waters.

Vanuatu-flagged and Taiwanese-flagged tuna long-liners were sighted by a Royal New Zealand Air Force PK Orion on patrol in September last year.

The crew of the Fu Chun 126 were photographed preparing fishing gear for use, to the north of the Kermadec Islands.

Fish than had already been caught were still visible on the deck.

The Ta Chun 101 was sighted the same day by the RNZAF about 20km away from the Fu Chun 126.

Illegal fishing in New Zealand waters undermines the quota management system and threatens the sustainability of the industry.

The Ministry of Fisheries says close co-operation with neighbouring Pacific Island countries is paying dividends in protecting the shared tuna and billfish fisheries in the South Pacific.