Wellington fishing company fined $12,000 for operating illegally

News from Maritime NZ
Albacore Fisheries Ltd of Wellington was yesterday fined $12,000 in the Wellington District Court for fishing without the required Safe Ship Management (SSM) certificate.

The company pleaded guilty to a charge laid by Maritime New Zealand under section 68 of the Maritime Transport Act of operating a ship without the appropriate maritime document during 38 fishing trips carried out by the fishing vessel Star of the Sea between February and May 2013.

Catch returns showed the vessel was operating as a commercial fishing vessel on each trip.

An SSM certificate is required for any vessel engaged in commercial activity. From 1 July, a new safety system – the Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) – comes into effect.

The Star of the Sea’s SSM certificate expired in October 2012 and after a survey it was found to require upgraded and increased fire extinguishers, a life raft service certificate, a current compass certificate, and two additional rocket parachute flares.

The vessel continued operation without gaining a new certificate.

MNZ General Manager Maritime Compliance Harry Hawthorn said operators must make safety a priority.

“It is imperative that vessel operators are meeting their obligations in terms of safety,” he said. “The maritime environment is a high-risk place to work and there is no excuse for not following the rules that are designed to ensure those working in the industry get home safely.

“This sentence should send a strong message to all operators that Maritime New Zealand will not tolerate such wilful and systematic offending.”

 

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