Fisher fined for setting nets in protection area
A commercial fisher who set and hauled nets within dolphin protection areas has been fined $11,900.
Following a successful Ministry for Primary Industries prosecution, Lance Edmond Nicolson, 34, was sentenced on Tuesday at the Dunedin District Court on one charge of using a set net within 4nm of the coast, in waters off Otago on six separate occasions.
MPI says the offending occurred between 12 October and 6 November 2019, when he was fishing and discovered through MPI's digital monitoring system which tracks fishing activity.
"Set netting can pose a risk to Hectors dolphins. Commercial fishers have a responsibility to be aware of what the regulations are in the area they are fishing, and ensure they comply," says regional manager fish compliance, Garreth Jay.
"The rules are there for a reason and most people do the right thing and follow them closely, and when they don’t, we will hold them to account."
Mr Nicolson reported setting and hauling set nets six times ranging from 295 metres to 1,270 metres inside the banned area.
The fishing vessel, Charlotte Rose, was forfeited to the Crown, along with set nets. Mr Nicolson was also ordered to pay costs of $2,046 to the Ministry for Primary Industries.
If you become aware of any suspicious fishing activity, call us on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email email@example.com.