Trawlers remain while cases queue for court

Photo by Craig Baxter.
Photo by Craig Baxter.
The Korean deep-sea fishing trawler Melilla 203 sits at the Rattray St Wharf in Dunedin.

The trawler and its sister ship, Melilla 201, have been berthed in Dunedin since April 3 and March 25, respectively.

The Ministry for Primary Industries seized the Melilla 201 in March and cancelled the fishing licences of both vessels after charges were laid under the Fisheries Act, including illegally discarding fish at sea and filing ''false or misleading'' catch returns.

The case had yet to be heard in the Christchurch District Court, an MPI spokeswoman said yesterday.

A civil case against the owner of Melilla 201 is claiming $4 million in unpaid and underpaid wages.

Both vessels were owned by Taejin Fisheries Co Ltd, of Busan, under charter to United Fisheries Ltd.

''The Melilla 201 has been seized by the Government for naughty fishing practices. It belongs to the New Zealand Government now,'' a United Fisheries Ltd spokesman said yesterday.

''The future of Melilla 203 is undecided.''

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