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$1 Million Fine

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    Posted: 25 Feb 2019 at 6:54pm
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Titanium
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A Napier commercial fishing company, its directors and general manager have been fined a total of more than $1 million for the sustained under-reporting of bluenose.

Hawkes Bay Seafoods (HBS) and 2 subsidiary companies in the HBS stable, Esplanade No 3 and Ocean Enterprises Limited plus HBS directors, Antonino (Nino) and Giancarlo (Joe) D'Esposito, and general manager, Marcus D'Esposito were all charged in 2017 with offences under the Fisheries Act.

All parties pleaded guilty last year to under-reporting 27 tonnes of bluenose linked to export consignments to Australia between 2012 and 2014. They were sentenced today in the Wellington District Court.

As well as being fined a total of $1,086,673, the defendants were ordered to pay $418,500 in redemption fees for the return of 4 fishing vessels that the court ordered to be forfeited to the Crown after the offending.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) manager of fisheries compliance Steve Ham says today's result is significant.

"This was sustained offending that happened over a number of years. The judgement today shows very clearly that Marcus D'Esposito knew his actions were against the law.

"Today's outcome sends a clear message to anyone who is thinking of offending similarly – MPI will ensure that people who break the law in this way are dealt with accordingly."

Read the full release here https://www.fisheries.govt.nz/…/hawkes-bay-seafoods-and-pe…/

water water everywhere,how many fish does it hold?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (6) Likes(6)   Quote Tagit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2019 at 7:03pm
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I wonder if their quota was forfeited back to the people of NZ that it was originally 'stolen from? If not, why not? Removing quota as an overfishing penalty would surely be the most logical and sensible penalty to help the overfished stock recover? Just park that quota instead of reselling it and the damage can be repaired
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Reel Deal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2019 at 7:07pm
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Yup common sense right there !
The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent on fishing - Assyrian Proverb
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote krow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2019 at 7:17pm
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Originally posted by Tagit Tagit wrote:

I wonder if their quota was forfeited back to the people of NZ that it was originally 'stolen from? If not, why not? Removing quota as an overfishing penalty would surely be the most logical and sensible penalty to help the overfished stock recover? Just park that quota instead of reselling it and the damage can be repaired
Tagit for PMClap
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote BFIST Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2019 at 9:47pm
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They should put them in jail for fraud.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote terrafish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2019 at 11:18pm
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And if Tagit was pm they would be in jail
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"Today's outcome sends a clear message to anyone who is thinking of offending similarly – MPI will ensure that people who break the law in this way are dealt with accordingly."

 Finally.. thu the sentence will include the previous offending etc.
 So the next lot that get pulled up, back to the old wet bus ticket stuff.

 Removing quota.. even suspending for a considerable length time for 1st offenders, is a good idea... 
is this already part of legislation?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Tagit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2019 at 10:30am
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Should be a basic part I think. Whatever you over fish gets permanently removed from your quota and returned to the people of NZ that you stole from.Given enough time we might even get back a decent chunk of the quota that was given away. Once we (the government) has it back they can lease out ACE off it as should always have been the case
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kevin.S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2019 at 11:57am
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I hope this means a change of management, and the way they work



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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Tagit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2019 at 12:53pm
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Originally posted by terrafish terrafish wrote:

And if Tagit was pm they would be in jail

Nah, who wants to have to feed them and provide free medicals. Take the quota, boats, and some big fines, then home detention. Also ban them from being in a management or investor position in the industry for ever.

Do that for a while and maybe the cost of being dishonest will finally exceed the rewards. Who knows how many $millions these guys stole over the years.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Tagit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2019 at 1:03pm
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Originally posted by Kevin.S Kevin.S wrote:

I hope this means a change of management, and the way they work



Will be interesting to see what happens. Hawkes Bay inshore fisheries have been trashed by over-fishing and I guess these crims may have been part of that. If the new owners at minimum just follow the rules it should be some improvement. 

I think it is good that the locals take over the whole chain from sea to market. If it gets used to provide local employment and training etc then it would be a rare case where the whole QMS and treaty stuff has come together to achieve a real positive win. In general the QMS has had the opposite effect and robbed the small players of income and jobs. 
Just hope it doesn't end up as some sort of lease arrangement with a foreign fishing company instead. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2019 at 6:33pm
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The fishing in the bay this yr has been better than the last few yrs - napier, waimarama, kairakau (where I am) and south at Porongahau, all report a better season. Four boats run by crooks tied up for 8 mths has had an effect. Shows you what massive damage they were doing.
The same guy got fined near $1m 20 yrs ago in Wgtn for breaches of quota. The stupidity is they let him loose again. What they got him for was the tip of the iceberg.
Now sold to local Iwi. I'm not holding my breath for any improvement of fishery. They have just delivered a massive trawler from scandinavia. Far bigger than anything else here. They have big plans for local pillaging of the resource.
Tagits suggestion of quota loss would have clipped his wings 20 yrs ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Tagit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2019 at 6:47pm
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I lived in Napier and fished the bay in the late 80/early 90s. Snapper were always a little bit harder, but Gurnard were prolific and a trip out to the 'springs' area would reliably produce Puka and also Trumpeter if I remember right. Wish I still had those marks. 

Mate got a 22lb Snapper off Pania reef on a dead sprat one day. Had been telling him they were crap bait so heard about that for a while.
Another day out with a comm crayfisher friend we went very wide and filled so many bins with 10lb - 25lb snapper on a couple of longlines that it was embarrassing. Only big Snapper I saw personally down there though. and mostly we caught average pannies when rod fishing off the boat. Some great Gurnard though.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote edge01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2019 at 7:14pm
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1 million fine is woefully insufficient. how much have they gotten away with is the question. Why was their previous offending not taken into account when they were sentenced?? I didn't see that anywhere. I like the idea of the quota being forfeited back. That makes a lot of sense.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Tagit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2019 at 7:34pm
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I think they might have to buy the boats back and some other stuff as well. Hope so at least. 

But yes, losing the Quota that you over fished would eventually get more back into public ownership and protect the stocks better as long as the government can be held accountable for any decision to let it be fished again. That might be the biggest issue as holding them accountable for fisheries decisions hasn't proved t be easy so far.
Thinking about that though, I think these guys leased Maori quota, and a lot of small operators lease quota also so maybe that isn't going to work as well as it would if they all owned their quota. The bigger companies however I think own their quota and fish it. Trouble there is as soon as you make a new law they will probably just restructure the ownership so it can't apply to them.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Uncle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2019 at 7:47pm
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The fact that HB seafoods have been ( or are about to be) taken over by Iwi, raises a few questions.
How many million was paid ? ( negating the hurt of the $1m fine) & what sort of $ value would be attached to the impounded boats, seeing as Iwi wern't involved.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Tagit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2019 at 7:56pm
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It will be a complicated deal I imagine Uncle. Either they will work together to minimize overall costs or the Iwi may be in position to screw a really good deal. I doubt these guys will struggle to pay their fines though unless they have been spending up large for all these years. Fine is possibly/probably(?) less than the illegal gains they made. $1m sounds a lot until you look at what that sort of business makes. Not quite a wet buss ticket but I doubt the owners will be in the soup kitchen queue. The Skipper might be though unless he was getting a decent share of the illegal income.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2019 at 1:02pm
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The boats are retrieved for $100k each.
20 yrs ago the guy had $10M of assets (cash, houses, cars etc) seized pending trial. And ended up with a fine of just under $1M.
20 yrs on, repeat.
Confiscating quota 20 yrs ago would have been a better outcome.
This stuff is a slap on the wrist for the guy, clearly.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2019 at 1:27pm
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And lets not forget to add  the sale  of the Iwi take over.
Crime pays ...
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Tagit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2019 at 4:00pm
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That seems to be the problem Alan. A comm operator like this making substantial profits gets a $1M fine and everyone says 'that will teach them.'

Reality is that is a lower penalty than some rec guy who loses his car/boat for taking too many Snapper (which could be as few as 20 or so). 

I have no sympathy for rec thieves either, but why are the penalties not relative to each other? Why does a rec guy with say 20kg of excess Snapper maybe lose a $50k boat plus fines when a comm operator taking 250,000kg excess gets a $1M to $1.5M total fine. That doesn't correlate by a factor of several 100 times. What is the logic in that I wonder? If you maintained relativity to the comm fines the rec guy with 20kg of excess Snapper would be fined $5. Puts the comm fines into perspective.
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