21 Dec 2009

Illegal fishers to be banned from other countries

10:04 pm on 21 December 2009

A fishing vessel from West Africa intercepted by the New Zealand Air Force will be banned from entering a number of countries due to illegal fishing in the Ross Sea.

The Togolese flagged vessel, Carmela, was found to be using banned deep-sea gill nets in an area managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

The head of the commission in New Zealand, Trevor Hughes, says the vessel was found on Friday trawling for Chilean sea bass.

The fish, mainly found around Antarctica, sells for about $US20 a kilogram in the United States.

Mr Hughes says the commission's international members have been notified of the incident and told to stop the ship from entering their ports.

He says the commission will also be following up the matter with the illegal vessel's country.