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Ed Sheeran

Sloppy trawl costly for Sealord

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Sealord Group is looking at a US$16 million hole in its fleet after the Nelson District Court confiscated the Ocean Dawn for bottom trawling in a protected area of the Chatham Rise.

The company, which is half-owned by iwi as a result of the Māori fisheries settlement, was also fined $24,000 and forfeited the $122,000 it earned from five illegal trawls.

The convictions resulted from a hoki fishing trip in October 2018, which Sealord reported at the time after geospatial data showed the trawler strayed into the benthic protected area.

The defendants, who also included the master and first mate, were sentenced on the basis they had not deliberately bottom trawled in a protected area, but they had failed to take reasonable steps to avoid the offending.

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