Amaltal’s Tony Hazlett said the company is disappointed with the fine given today at the sentencing for Amaltal Apollo’s inadvertent mid-water trawling in 2018.
In the Nelson District Court today, Judge David Ruth ordered the company forfeit the Amaltal Apollo and fishing equipment, and $127,000 worth of fish. The company was also fined $59,500.
Hazlett said the company has been investing in additional electronic systems for monitoring the operation of its fishing vessels, increasing this investment significantly after the accidental fishing in 2018. It will continue to deliver on its responsibility to equip its captains and crew with the training, instruction and the best tools needed to operate the vessels according to the law.
“Amaltal didn’t direct, consent, agree or direct the vessel to fish in a closed area,” said Hazlett. “Amaltal takes the sustainability of the marine environments where we fish very seriously, and does not condone illegal fishing in any circumstances.”
Hazlett had no further comment.
The Amaltal Apollo inadvertently fished in the area in mid-May 2018 only after the captain sought confirmation from the onboard observer from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) that the area was open to fishing and the vessel was entitled to fish there. It has previously been open to fishing. It was the observer’s first trip to this area. The vessel was mid-water trawling at the time of the incident and there was no impact to the seabed.
On 28 February 2022, Nelson District Court Judge Ruth convicted a former captain of the Amaltal Apollo on charges of fishing in violation of a condition of a High Seas Permit, when he was master of the Amaltal Apollo in May 2018. He was fined $12,000. On 4 March 2022, Judge Ruth found Amaltal vicariously liable of the same charges.