Detained Korean deep-sea fishing vessel cost $150k to New Zealand taxpayers

By Vessels

A detained in New Zealand Korean fishing trawler had to be fumigated after aboard were found rats and lice. The operation will cost NZ taxpayers $150,000 including the extended Dunedin anchorage. The vessel Melilla 201 is at berth from a year when was seized for illegal fishing, human rights, employment abuse and infestation. The fishing trawler is in New Zealand since May last year and now its case was sent to the courts, the vessel must be sold. 

The Korean fishing vessel Melilla 201 was seized according to section 207 of the Fisheries Act, that means the trawler has participated in unlawfully discarding quota species fish into the sea. After 9 months in Dunedin, taxpayers had to pay $150,000 on berthage, maintenance and security costs. The situation of the vessel is even worse considering the infestation with rats and lice, there is a need the trawler to be professionally fumigated. After authorities took control of the ship Melilla 201, additional costs are paid for maintenance, pest detection and control.

The ministry now will have to apply to the courts for recovery of all expenses coming from the situation with the Korean deep-sea trawler. The courts have to decide the ship to be sold pursuant to the Search and Surveillance Act 2012. Evidence has been given from witnesses. There are charges against officers abоard Melilla 201, they will have to defend in June in courts. Accusations are in connection of 2 fishing trips in 2011 and its sister ship Melilla 203, also berthed in the same place for unpaid wages. The company owner of the Korean fishing trawler is Taejin Fisheries, located in Pusan, South Korea.