A commercial fisherman in Tauranga faces massive fines and the loss of his $300,000 boat if it's proved that he failed to declare his full catch.
Fourteen charges have been laid against the man, each carrying a maximum fine of $250,000, coupled with possible forfeiture of his vessel.
The Ministry of Fisheries says he failed to declare 12 tonnes of fish.
The ministry's Bay of Plenty field operations manager, Brendon Mikkelsen, says a significant investigation was carried out and it's alleged the man was underreporting substantial quantities of fish he had caught.
Mr Mikkelsen says the quota management system is essentially a self-reporting one that relies heavily on commercial fishers supplying accurate and correct statutory fishing returns.