Thursday, 14 July 2016, 4:35 pm
Press Release: Ministry For Primary Industries
MPI to prosecute over fishing-related albatross deaths – new rules to be put in place
14 July 2016
The Ministry for Primary Industries is prosecuting a commercial fisherman in relation to the deaths of 38 albatrosses and is moving to put in place additional measures to help prevent further seabird deaths.
The charges relate to an incident off the West Coast in which 38 albatrosses died when a commercial fisherman fishing for Southern Bluefin Tuna allegedly failed to use a tori line - a mandatory mitigation device designed to scare birds away from baited hooks.
The skipper faces a maximum fine of $100,000 in relation to an offence under the Fisheries (Commercial Fishing) Regulations and forfeiture of the vessel used in the operation.
MPI Acting Director Fisheries Management, Steve Halley, says the decision to prosecute sends a clear message that the rules need to be followed.
“MPI works regularly with commercial fishers to reiterate the importance of bird mitigation and the need to comply with regulations designed to prevent seabird bycatch.