Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries. (Photo Credit: Office of Nathan Guy)
Onboard cameras used to prevent fish dumping
Wednesday, November 27, 2013, 04:40 (GMT + 9)
Starting on 1 December the use of video cameras, a new technological tool, will enter into force and together with observers onboard will help to prevent fish dumping by the country's commercial fishing fleet.
These measures are part of a monitoring programme announced by the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy in September. These regulations will initially cover 25 per cent of the commercial trawl fleet, expanding to 50 per cent of the fleet by 1 October 2014 and all of the fleet by 1 October 2015.
“This programme will provide greater information on the total commercial catch, particularly on the numbers of small snapper being caught and the size, age, location and timing of commercial catch generally,” the minister explained.
Guy ensured this information is helpful to assure the public and recreational fishers that commercial fishers are following the rules.
In addition to these measures, the minister supports the use of precision seafood harvest (PSH) nets, designed to allow undersized fish to escape, on all boats in two years, 3News reported.
"It could revolutionise the whole commercial fishing fleet here in NZ. There's a lot of interest internationally," he says.
The minister is also thankful that work is also being carried out to introduce mandatory vessel monitoring systems on all commercial vessels by 1 October 2014. Besides, he said that on the same date USD 7 million scientific tagging survey will be introduced.
Furthermore, the new Snapper 1 Strategy Group will develop a long-term plan to manage the fishery, representing the commercial, recreational, and customary sectors, The New Zealand Herald informed.
The snapper fishery's management has been amended and the recreational bag limit has changed from nine to seven and the minimum size limit – which was 27 cm – is now 30 cm.
Recreational fishing lobby group LegaSea has welcomed the moves announced to reduce commercial fishing waste.
"If Mr Guy's proposed initiatives are implemented thoroughly it will make a significant impact on rebuilding the fish stocks," pointed out national programme leader Mandy Kupenga.
However, the leader remarked it was ‘disappointing’ that size and bag limits have been set for anglers and the fact that the commercial quota has not been modified.
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