A seized Korean deep-sea fishing trawler professionally
fumigated after being found to be infested with rats and lice
has cost taxpayers $150,000 during its extended Dunedin
Revelations of illegal fishing, human rights and employment
abuse, and the infestation have dogged Melilla 201,
which docked in Dunedin almost a year ago.
The vessel was seized in May and remained the subject of an
application to the courts to be sold, a Ministry for Primary
Industries spokesman said.
The vessel was seized under section 207 of the Fisheries Act,
the ministry believing the vessel to have been been involved
in unlawfully discarding quota species fish into the sea.
During Melilla's nine-month stay in Dunedin the
ministry had spent $150,000 on berthage, maintenance and
The spokesman confirmed reports the boat was infested with
rats and lice and had to be professionally fumigated.
''Since taking control of the vessel, part of the monthly
maintenance costs has been pest detection and control,'' he
The ministry would apply to the courts for recovery of all
expenditure associated with holding and maintaining the
vessel, he said.
A ministry application to the Christchurch District Court for
the vessel to be sold pursuant to the Search and Surveillance
Act 2012 had yet to be decided by the courts.
Witnesses had also provided evidence.
A conclusion to the defended hearing in relation to charges
against officers aboard Melilla 201 was scheduled for
The charges relate to two fishing trips during 2011, the same
year the vessel and its sister ship, Melilla 203 -
which is also berthed in Dunedin - became embroiled in claims
from their Indonesian crews of unpaid wages.
The trawlers are owned by Taejin Fisheries, which is based in
Pusan, South Korea.