A Whitianga fishing company has been fined $6500 for operating a fishing boat commercially without a certificate validating it met safety standards.
The Tuna Fishing Company Limited pleaded guilty in the Thames District Court on Tuesday to a charge under the Maritime Transport Act.
According to Maritime NZ, the company operated an imported fishing vessel commercially before its certificate of survey was issued in June 2020.
Any commercial gain made while a vessel is being operated without a certificate of survey is illegal, the agency said.
In a statement, the agency's central regional compliance manager, Michael-Paul Abbott, said that the company was responsible for ensuring safe work practises.
“This company clearly knew the rules and chose to break them for commercial gain.”
The boat, the ‘Northern Odyssey’, was used for several weeks off the east coast of Coromandel Peninsula, the Bay of Plenty and East Cape after being imported from Fiji in January 2020.
“Commercial operators must always have a certificate of survey issued, that meets New Zealand’s safety standards, before operating a vessel,” Abbott said.
The company was also ordered to pay costs of $668.56 to Maritime NZ and $130 in court costs.
Abbot said the total fine reflected the severity of the incident and should send a message to all commercial operators.