Fisheries officers will not comment on an incident of suspected commercial fish dumping in Tasman Bay, saying their investigation could lead to a prosecution.
A recreational fisherman spotted more than 200 dead fish floating on the surface near Pepin Island last month, and alerted the Ministry for Primary Industries.
The man took photos of the fish, mostly undersized tarakihi and gurnard, and three fishing vessels in the area.
Nelson-Marlborough fisheries compliance and response team leader Anthony Little said any commercial operator caught illegally dumping fish could face fines of up to $250,000, could lose their fishing quota, and could have boats, vehicles, and other gear seized.
"This is an active investigation which MPI are pursuing to establish why undersized fish were found floating off Pepin Island," Mr Little said this week.
- © Fairfax NZ News