Korean crew sentenced for illegal dumping
Four members of the Korean crew of the fishing vessel, ‘Oyang 75’ have been sentenced in the Christchurch District Court, New Zealand, following an investigation into illegal dumping of fish.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) started investigating the vessel after concerns of illegal dumping of fish were reported. It was estimated that 405 tonnes of quota species, mainly Hoki valued between US$800,000 and US$1.4m, was dumped.
Peter Hyde, Canterbury/Westland District compliance manager MPI, said: “In this case there was a serious breach of trust in reporting catches of quota fish species which is very disappointing to see. The dumping of damaged and small quota fish allowed the crew to maximise financial return through landing better quality, higher value fish.”
“Our fisheries are an important resource that we all have a responsibility for sustaining, and this includes commercial fishers. The New Zealand commercial fishing industry has a good level of compliance however there is a minority that simply refuse to comply and end up paying the price for their actions.”
The Oyang 75 was operating in New Zealand waters under a foreign charter arrangement by the New Zealand Company Southern Storm Fishing Limited during the offending period in March 2011 and June 2011.
Each man was charged according to their responsibility - Captain Pil Yung received fines totalling $208,500, chief officer Minsu Park was fined $121,000, the deck bosun, $60,00 and the radio operator, $35,000. The factory manager was also convicted and will be sentenced at a later date.