The New Zealand navy has discovered a third fishing vessel it says is operating illegally in the Southern Ocean.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully said the offshore patrol vessel, HMNZS Wellington, last week intercepted two foreign fishing boats in the area - the Kunlun and the Songhua.
They were thought to be taking toothfish.
The Wellington had now caught another ship, called the Yongding, to the west of the Ross Sea, which it believed was part of the same fishing syndicate.
Mr McCully said all three vessels were claimed to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea.
New Zealand was still waiting to hear back from Equatorial Guinea, after seeking permission to board the boats.