Gisborne commercial fisher fined $3000 for taking crayfish without permit

A Gisborne commercial fisher who took crayfish from an area he did not have a permit for, has been fined $3000.

Ross Tony Jamieson (62) was sentenced (9/9/22) in the Gisborne District Court on one representative charge under the Fisheries Act for taking crayfish from an area where he did not have Annual Catch Entitlement (ACE).

Mr Jamieson has ACE to fish in fisheries management area CRA 2, but the skipper of his fishing vessel set pots in the area CRA 3. This was discovered by Fishery Officers through global positioning records in October, 2020.

“Mr Jamieson’s skipper was advised not to fish in CRA3 by a Fishery Officer on 6 October, yet we found four cray pots set in CRA 3 by the skipper of his fishing vessel at the end of October.

The rules are there for a reason. Fishing in an area where you don’t have ACE undermines the Quota Management System which is there to ensure sustainable fishing resources. We work hard to protect fishing areas to ensure they have a future for generations to come,” says MPI District Team Leader, Richard Ratapu.

“It’s particularly disappointing when despite also formally warning the skipper of his fishing vessel and providing the correct boundary coordinates for CRA 2 and 3, the skipper of the vessel chose to put cray pots in the CRA 3 area.

We also discovered that Mr Jamieson had not updated the chart plotter on his fishing vessel, something we would expect commercial fishers to have done,” he says.

Crayfish in the CRA 3 area are under pressure and there have been significant reductions in total allowable catch over the past few years. About 23kg of crayfish was illegally taken from CRA 3 by Mr Jamieson’s skipper.

Mr Jamieson’s commercial fishing vessel, TYTE-AZ valued at about $185,000 was forfeited to the Crown. He has also come to the attention of MPI for similar offending in the past and at the time was given written warnings.

MPI encourages fishing industry operators and noncommercial fishers to report any suspected illegal activity through the Ministry’s 0800 4 POACHER line (0800 47 62 24).

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