Kaikoura commercial fisherman fined

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A Kaikoura commercial set-netter has been fined under fisheries regulations for leaving his nets too long at sea.

John Michael Flynn pleaded guilty on behalf of himself and his company Flynnie Fishing Ltd to a charge of leaving his nets in the water for more than 24 hours, in contravention of the 24 hour soak time regulation, in Nelson District Court yesterday (4 September).

Ministry for Primary Industries District Compliance Manager Nelson/Marlborough Ian Bright says the 24 hour soak time for commercial set nets is to ensure all fish caught remain in good condition. Fish left longer can be damaged by lice, other fish, the net itself or decomposition.

MPI found 26 instances in a ten month period where Mr Flynn had left his nets in the water for longer than 48 hours.

“The risk of offending of this nature is that it can lead to the waste of a valuable national resource and has the potential to undermine the sustainability of our fisheries,” says Mr Bright.

Judge Zohrab fined Flynnie Fishing $3000 and Mr Flynn $750.

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