University of Otago, New Zealand

Chemistry

Te Tari Hua-Ruanuku

CSI Dunedin: Scientists help snare rogue fishing boat

Thursday 10 November 2011

A team of scientists in Otago University's Department of Chemistry has made national news for their part in the prosecution of  a commercial fisherman.

A team of Dunedin scientists and their forensic chemistry skills have helped hook one of New Zealand's worst illegal fishing offenders.

In a first-of-its-kind investigation, the Iso-trace Research Unit, led by Associate Prof Russell Frew, alongside Dr Malcolm Reid, Dr Claudine Stirling and David Barr, of the University of Otago, used a unique forensic analysis method to link minute samples of blue paint to the offenders' fishing vessel.

The paint was recovered from under the scales of two dead fish, found among an estimated 1000 snapper floating over 4000sq m in the eastern Bay of Plenty after they were illegally dumped in August 2009. 

Read the full story from the Otago Daily Times.

Further coverage including video is available from the TV3news website.