11 Jan 2013

Sanford orders vessels to stay out of US zones

6:44 pm on 11 January 2013

Fishing company Sanford Ltd has instructed all its vessels not to enter or fish in any United States ports or its Exclusive Economic Zone, including American Samoa waters.

The directive came after the company's insurer decided not to cover its vessels fishing in US waters, Radio New Zealand International reports.

Sanford will be sentenced in a US Federal Court on Friday after being convicted in August last year for dumping oil waste into US waters off American Samoa and falsifying records.

The US government wants Sanford to be fined $US3.5 million.

It also wants the company to be placed on five years' probation, with conditions including a ban to all vessels entering American ports for at least one year.

Sanford strongly opposes the proposed fine, saying prosecutors cannot justify it.