Another company owned by Hawke's Bay's D'Esposito family has been fined for under-reporting its catch.

Esplanade No.3 was sentenced on Thursday, following a reserved judgment released in the Wellington District Court, after a lengthy investigation by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

It has been fined $62,000 and banned from fishing for three years, after failing to report more than 200kg of crayfish.

Guilty pleas had been entered earlier to four representative charges, two of failing to keep or provide Catch Effort Landing Returns under the Fisheries Act and the Crimes Act, and two of making a false or misleading statement in Catch Effort Landing Returns, also under the Fisheries Act and the Crimes Act.


Offending was detected after MPI started looking into the company in 2014.

Undercover techniques were used to confirm illegal fishing was occurring.

MPI manager of compliance investigations Gary Orr said it was discovered that crayfish were not reported on 36 fishing trips over a period of 10 months.

"That added up to a total of 204 kilograms of unreported crayfish," Orr said.

"Misreporting of commercial catches can undermine the ability of Fisheries New Zealand to ensure sustainable use of fisheries and the fixing of appropriate catch settings.

"Furthermore, the misreporting of catches may impact on the reputation of New Zealand's fisheries management regime."

It is understood Esplanade No.3 is still owned by the D'Esposito family.

It was formally a subsidiary of Hawke's Bay Seafoods, which has recently been sold to Ngāti Kahungunu.


The companies register lists Antonino and Giancarlo D'Esposito as the shareholders of Esplanade No.3.

Hawke's Bay Seafoods, also previously owned by the D'Espositos, was recently fined more than $1 million for under-reporting its bluenose catch.

It was then bought and rebranded by Ngāti Kahungunu.