Tag Archives: Ministry For Primary Industries

New Zealand: MPI agree to meet Southland fishermen over electronic monitoring regulations

Ministry for Primary Industries staff have agreed to front up to Southland fishermen who have questions about new monitoring and reporting regulations. From October 6, new measures will be rolled in to ensure that all commercial fishing boats are fitted with both GPS equipment and cameras, to improve monitoring of catch levels and to help prevent any illegal activity. More than 100 fishermen, from throughout Southland, met at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill last week to discuss the implications of the ministry’s new Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System (IEMRS). Many in the commercial fishing industry were frustrated at the fact the new rules had been decided on without proper consultation or thought to their consequences.  click here to read the story 09:43

New Zealand – New digital fishing rules could cost thousands

All commercial fishing operators will have to invest thousands to install cameras and tracking devices on their boats, under new rules announced by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The push towards electronic monitoring of the industry follows concerns about widespread illegal practices, including the dumping of fish and misreporting of catch. The rules will not only apply for large trawl vessel, but all boats – even small ones – that are registered as being commercial.  The cost for the tracking systems, cameras and maintenance of the gear could cost as much as $20,000 per operator. The regulator also says where evidence of illegal activity is uncovered, it will be used for prosecutions. click here to read the story 08:16

Chinese vessels fined $825,000 and deregistered for tuna offences off NZ coast

Chinese authorities have deregistered and fined a Chinese commercial fishing company about $825,000 for misreporting blue fin tuna catches and fishing without a licence adjacent to New Zealand waters. Offending by the vessels, the Da Yang 15 and Da Yang 16, was detected during Operation Zodiac, a joint Ministry for Primary Industries and New Zealand Defence Force high seas patrol in July last year.,,, Under international law, the state to which vessels are flagged is ultimately responsible for taking action against any of its vessels that violate laws. Chinese authorities have now concluded their investigation and found that the two vessels were not only unlicensed but that they misreported over 100 tonnes of high value southern blue fin tuna as another lower value species. click here to read the story 09:17

Hawke’s Bay Seafoods on trial over alleged under-reporting of catches

Dozens of fishing catch returns and other documents are alleged to have been falsified by Napier company Hawke’s Bay Seafoods, a judge has been told at the start of an expected four-month trial in the District Court at Wellington. The trial started before Judge Bill Hastings yesterday, with Ministry for Primary Industries prosecutor Stephanie Bishop saying there was deliberate and wide-reaching under-reporting of catches over about two years. Ms Bishop alleged offences were orchestrated “from the top” and the necessary skippers’ collusion was gained by cash payments and continued employment. Catches totalling up to 63 tonnes of bluenose and 3.5 tonnes of trumpeter were involved, motivated by a lack of catch entitlement and prospects of export market advantages. Charges involve mainly two types of offence, with false statements on catch-return records and selling fish not properly reported to MPI. click here to read the story 14:49

Greenpeace Criticizes Contracting Onboard Monitoring Cameras and Analysis to Trident

Should a commercial fishing company be made responsible for monitoring what goes on board the commercial fishing vessels? Greenpeace leader Russel Norman says, it is like “the fox guarding the henhouses”. Greenpeace has criticized Ministry for Primary Industries for rolling out cameras on fishing vessel which is supplied as well as monitored by Trident for the fishing industry. The company is owned by Sanford and thirteen other seafood and fishing companies in New Zealand. The news was confirmed by Nathan Guy, the minister for MPI. So it is clear that indeed the fishing industry is responsible for analyzing the video surveillance that comes from its own trawlers and reports any suspicious behavior to the regulators. Executive Director of Greenpeace New Zealand, Russel Norman says that makes things worse as the government has given out the contract and analyzing task to the industry with Nathan Guy and Prime Minister John Key defending it. link  11:17

Fisherman pleads guilty to 39 albatross deaths

16125497A commercial fishing boat skipper who caused the death of 39 albatrosses refused to use bird-scaring devices because he had “nothing but f…… trouble with the things”, a court has been told. Daniel Joseph Smyth, 37, admitted in the Greymouth District Court on Tuesday to being the master of a vessel that failed to comply with seabird mitigation measures by ignoring instructions to use a streamer line while fishing with surface longlines. The Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) legal counsel William Jennings said Smyth was fishing for southern bluefin tuna off the West Coast in April and failed to use a streamer line, a mandatory device designed to scare birds away from baited hooks. Read the story here 14:03

Marlborough Sounds Blue Cod fishing ban has been branded “insane” by fishermen

1472793289437A ban on commercial blue cod fishing in the Marlborough Sounds has been branded “insane” by fishermen who will be out of work for the next four months. The Ministry for Primary Industries closed the Sounds to commercial blue cod fishers for the first time on Thursday. The season closure will run until December 20. Fisherman Kelly Aldridge said the ban meant he could not fish in an area which comprised 85 per cent of his fishing ground, in the outer Sounds. It was effectively putting him out of work until Christmas. “My boat’s not big enough to travel further afield,” he said.  Commercial fishermen could normally catch blue cod in the Sounds all year, while the area was closed to recreational fishers from September 1 to December 20. Read the story here 11:06

New Zealand Fisherman faces prosecution for deaths of albatrosses during observed fishing trip

Tori_linesA commercial fisherman is to be prosecuted and faces a fine of up to $100,000 after dozens of albatross were killed during a fishing trip. The unnamed fisherman is being prosecuted by the Ministry For Primary Industries, which is now set to introduce additional measures to help prevent more seabird deaths as a result of the incident. A statement released by MPI today said the birds were killed when the commercial fisherman failed to use a tori line – a compulsory device used to scare birds away from baited hooks – while fishing for southern bluefin tuna off the West Coast of New Zealand. “The skipper faces a maximum fine of $100,000 in relation to an offence under the Fisheries (Commercial Fishing) Regulations and forfeiture of the vessel used in the operation.” The incident was reported by an MPI observer who was on board the vessel at the time. Read the rest here 09:47