A Nelson man has died while working on a commercial fishing boat in the Pacific.
Leighton Muir died on Sunday on board the Talley's vessel Captain MJ Souza which was catching tuna in the Kiribati Islands region.
Maritime New Zealand and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission have sent investigators to Samoa, where the ship is currently docked.
Talley's Group general manager Tony Hazlett said he believed the death was caused by a major gear failure during routine fishing operations but the full details of what happened remain unclear.
He said Mr Muir's body would be returned to New Zealand once it had been released by the Samoan coroner, and a company investigation is under way.