Fishing companies and employees who admitted filing misleading quota returns have been fined a total of $840,000.
Aurora Fisheries of Nelson and Kanai Fisheries of Japan, along with four of Kanai's employees, were sentenced in Wellington District Court on Monday on charges of making a false statement in a return.
Aurora Fisheries was in a joint venture with Kanai Fisheries and a director of both companies, Akira Hozumi, and three other Kanai employees wrongly reported that fish caught in one Quota Management Area had been caught in another.
Judge Denys Barry said Aurora was unwittingly involved in the offending as it relied on information from the Japanese company to complete harvest returns.
He fined Aurora Fisheries $45,000.
Kanai Fisheries and Akira Hozumi were each fined $266,000.
The other Kanai employees were each fined $88,000.