Tag Archives: New Zealand

Bottom trawling for orange roughy has scientists worried

Three of the nine fisheries within New Zealand waters were recently deemed sustainable once again. But it is bottom-trawling for orange roughy on the high seas – the area out beyond the 12 nautical mile limit of New Zealand and Australia’s exclusive economic zone – that has scientists and conservationists worried.,,  Experts call them “vulnerable marine eco-systems” (VMEs) but some in the fishing industry even object to the term as “unscientific and akin to labelling fishermen as murderers”. These tensions led to protracted wrangling about how best to protect the South Pacific’s orange roughy and that has now culminated in threats of legal action from New Zealand’s powerful fishing industry interests. >click to read<13:45

Trawler Jay Patricia aground near Waiapaoa

A fishing vessel went aground on a sandbar on the city side of the Waipaoa River mouth during the night. A refloating attempt for the steel-hulled long-liner Jay Patricia was hoped to be made around high tide in the middle of the day, or otherwise on high tide tomorrow. Eastland Port general manager Andrew Gaddum said the trawler remained upright on the sandbar. “The grounding happened at about 2am today as the vessel was returning to Gisborne from a fishing trip.” >click to read<17:20

Govt considering ditching fishing boat camera plans

The government is considering scrapping the rollout of cameras on commercial fishing vessels altogether. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash said many in the fishing industry were unhappy with the camera proposal and all options were on the table – including dumping it entirely. One of Mr Nash’s first moves when he became the Fisheries Minister was to put the brakes on the rollout of electronic monitoring of the commercial fishing fleet.,, “We could continue the project as it is, we could delay it – at the extreme we could dump it.” >click to read<18:44

Labour to pause rollout of fish monitoring system

The fishing industry has got the pause it wanted to a system of electronic monitoring and reporting of fishing catches. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash has instructed Ministry for Primary Industries officials to look at options for slowing down the implementation of IEMRS (Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System) on commercial fishing vessels.,, All commercial fishers were going to be required to use Geospatial Position Reporting and e-logbooks by April 1, 2018, and cameras by October 1, 2018. click here to read the story 09:01

Carving up the Bureaucracy – MPI dismantling received positively by Nelson fishing industry

The announcement of a dedicated fisheries portfolio by the new Labour-led government has local fishing representatives hooked. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced this week the primary industries mega-ministry would be split into three parts covering forestry, fisheries and agriculture to allow greater focus on each sector. While the finer points of the new structure were yet to be discussed, the decision has already been well-received by both commercial and recreational fishing representatives. click here to read the story 16:56

Leaked fishing camera report ‘sound’, top advisor said

The report, carried out by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), was leaked to Greenpeace in June. It raised doubts about whether camera technology on fishing boats would be much use in court as evidence of illegal fishing. MPI later called the report “misleading” and poor quality, and Mr Guy said scientists had binned it. But in emails released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act, a top science advisor described the report as “robust and sound”. The camera technology will be rolled out on all boats from October 2018. The minister’s spokesperson said they could be used to spot some fishing offences, and would have a strong deterrent effect. click here to read the story 11:09

UPDATED: One Fisherman Survives, Two missing – Greymouth boat Wendy J sank on southern West Coast

The commercial fishing boat which sank on the rugged coast of South Westland ran aground on the rocky shore after becoming entangled in a rope. Two men are missing from the Greymouth-based Wendy J after it got into trouble near Jackson Bay on Thursday night. The alarm was raised yesterday morning after a light aircraft spotted wreckage and a life raft on the shore. A survivor, Mark Thomas, was found yesterday near Teer Creek, about 10km southwest around the bouldery coast from Smoothwater Bay, the area where it is the boat sank. Smoothwater Bay is a small cove whose entrance is marked by rocky outcrops. click here to read the story 23:35

West Coast search resumes for two fishermen missing after Wendy J sank – “An improvement in weather conditions has allowed a helicopter to start an aerial search and ground search teams are carrying out a shoreline search,” police said this afternoon. click here to read the story 11:26

Catch Shares – New Zealand’s fisheries quota management system: on an undeserved pedestal

In popular imagination, New Zealand’s fisheries management system is a globally recognised story of sustainability, reflecting a “clean and green” environmental ethos. Indeed, New Zealand’s fisheries have been ranked among the best managed in the world – an accolade based on the early and wholehearted adoption of a Quota Management System (QMS). This perception is echoed in a recently published article, but we take issue with the methodology and its conclusions. Claims that New Zealand’s QMS is an unmitigated success simply do not match the facts. click here to read the story 18:32

Man lied about father dying to get off work on fishing boat

A novice fisherman who concocted a story about his father dying in a car crash just to get off work has been convicted for dishonesty. The lie, which prompted his skipper to head for port, caused $170,000 dollars of damages in wages and lost production. Former fisherman Tyler Stokes said while leaving court “I’d just like to say that I’ve said sorry for my actions, I’m remorseful, and that’s all.” The 20-year-old had only spent four days on a Talley’s trawler when he decided to fool his captain. He claimed a car crash had killed his father and put his mother in intensive care. The company put its fishing operation on hold and headed into port. His partner Monique Carlaw also faced court, after backing up the lie in a conversation with Talleys. click here to read the story 20:48

Cameras on boats ‘an invasion of privacy’

A group of fishermen could be heading to court to fight a plan to use cameras and GPS trackers to monitor commercial trawlers. Consultation by the Ministry for Primary Industries on the first phase of the rollout of the new technology closed yesterday. Some fishermen claim the cost and time involved could put many people out of business. New regulations, which start to apply next year, involve installing cameras and GPS technology on 1200 fishing boats in Southland. A group of 70 fishermen, mainly from Southland, have each pledged $1000 towards a legal fight to stop the move, with a decision due this week on whether to head to court. Bluff fisherman Chris Black said they were being treated worse than criminals. click here to read the story 15:44

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

Letter: Government fishing vessel monitoring plans are demanding rubbish

I see Nathan Guy is claiming the new electronic system for monitoring fishing vessels is the biggest change since the introduction of the commercial fishing quota system. I believe he has no knowledge of the history of his portfolio. Instead of writing paper reports we will do them electronically. Whoopee. Someone needs to tell him that this is being done in some form or another on most boats, along with AIS tracking on most company boats, although MPI probably doesn’t have access to a lot of it. It is only the smaller boats, that have the least impact, that don’t – as most can’t afford it. We already work under the most onerous system in New Zealand and probably the world. The extra detail being included is ridiculous and in some cases unworkable on a small boat. click here to read the letter 15:39

Electronic Monitoring – New fishing regulations bring opposition in Southland

Some southern fishermen say new government regulations for commercial fishing boats could be put small operators out of business. 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. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the changes would protect the sustainability of New Zealand’s fisheries, and “give us arguably the most transparent and accountable commercial fishery anywhere in the world”. However, some southern fishermen fear the new rules could also bring about a range of negative consequences.  As well as the costs incurred from buying and maintaining the new equipment, it could also inadvertently reveal many fishermen’s jealously guarded marks (fishing spots). click here to read the story 15:59

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

Meet Brendan Taylor, one of Foodstuffs’ ‘best’ commercial fishermen

He’s a top commercial fisherman who lives in south Auckland and works from a boat he built with his own hands. Brendan Taylor runs a business based in Manurewa that sees him catch and supply fresh fish to supermarket company Foodstuffs. He spent his childhood fishing for flounder with a small net on the Manukau Harbour.,,, Foodstuffs head of seafood David Jose says many people have the perception commercial fishing companies are “huge industrial operations” with large boats that trawl oceans. That’s not the case in New Zealand though, as he describes Taylor as one of the company’s best commercial fishermen. Video, click here to read the story 10:17

Fishing safety campaign launched in New Zealand

On June 1st, Maritime New Zealand and the NZ Federation of Commercial Fishermen launch a safety campaign, at the Federation’s annual conference, aimed at commercial fishing boat crews and operators. The “Safe Crews Fish More” aims to establish a natural collaboration across the industry. Maritime NZ General Manager Maritime Standards, Sharyn Forsyth, said more than one in four fishing crew are injured every year (28% according to a study by research company, Neilsen, commissioned by WorkSafe and Maritime NZ). ACC statistics show most injuries are to hands, lower back, and spine. The campaign will initially run for a year, focusing two months at a time on the six risk areas: fatigue, manual handling, safety on deck, winches, uncovered machinery, and intoxication. click here to read the story 11:52

New Zealand: West Coast fishermen describe 1.45am liferaft ordeal as heavy seas pound boat after stranding

A father and son survived a harrowing ordeal with their skipper to make it into a liferaft as their boat was pounded by heavy seas in the middle of the night before coming ashore on Cobden beach. Mathew Fisher and his son Adin were on the fishing boat the Kutere, along with owner Les Horncastle. The vessel became stranded on the sandbar while pounded by waves, but the men managed to set off flares and then get off the boat by liferaft. All three are safe and well. “I was down below sleeping at the time when the boat lurched and next minute I was hit by a wave,” Mathew Fisher said. click here to read the story 13:06

Company denies seabed mining would wreck environment

Four months of hearings into a seabed mining application off the South Taranaki coast have finally come to an end. It follows an application by Trans Tasman Resources (TTR) to dig up to 50 million tonnes of ironsand from the ocean floor each year. It would then extract 5 million tonnes of iron ore, and dump the residue on the bottom of the sea. Trans Tasman Resources said the scheme would produce 300 jobs and add $160 million to New Zealand’s GDP. It has already been turned down by the Environmental Protection Authority once, and has come back for a second attempt. Lawyer Robert Makgill represented the fishing industry and said the law clearly required the scheme to be turned down. Click here to read the story 13:31

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

An online home delivered service is going off the hook!

Door to door fish deliveries are taking off in Taranaki like never before. “It started as a part time business, three days a week. But now I’m so busy I can’t go hunting,” said George Cameron, owner of G & J Fish Supplies Ltd in New Plymouth. Cameron said he believed the internet had a lot to do with the resurgence of fresh fish because people could order online and have him deliver it fresh to their door.,, He processes all the fish himself in his small factory setup in New Plymouth, a process that can take to four or five hours each day. Video,  click here to read the story 09:01

Four-year investigation fails to find cause of ship fire off Canterbury coast

A four year inquiry into a fire that ripped through a ship off the Canterbury coast, forcing dozens of crew members into lifeboats, has failed to establish “with any certainty” how it started. On Thursday, the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) released a report into the blaze, which turned the fishing factory freezer trawler Amaltal Columbia into “a fireball from the bow to the stern” in 2012. The 41 crew on board were ordered to abandon ship, 85 kilometres northeast of the Lyttelton heads, after exhausting their air tanks battling the inferno. The fire broke out about 5am on September 12, 2012, in the fishmeal bagging room on the fish processing deck. continue reading the story here 11:25

New Zealand: Underwater life in Kaikoura Canyon marine nature reserve entirely wiped out after earthquake

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake in November at Kaikōura, on New Zealand’s South Island, has destroyed all creatures living on the seabed in the Kaikōura Canyon marine nature reserve. On land the earthquake killed two people and caused massive damage to properties, roads and railways. It caused the sea-floor to leap up by two metres in some locations, exposing stretches of sea snails known as paua along the coast. Further out at sea, it caused a mudslide that destroyed a whole ecosystem. “While fish were still found in the area, this time didn’t record evidence of a single organism living on or in the seabed over a stretch of nearly six kilometres. Nothing. It was quite sobering, and a catastrophic event for the ecology of the canyon,” said Dave Bowden, who led a second exploration of the area. Continue reading the story here 10:49

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

Safety first crossing the Kaipara bar after Francie tragedy

If in doubt, don’t go out. There are three types of bars on New Zealand coastlines, the Coastguard says – dangerous, very dangerous and extremely dangerous. Coastguard get called to around 15 incidents on bars around the country each year as boats head out to fish deeper offshore waters. The foundering of the Francie on the Kaipara Harbour bar last November, with the tragic loss of eight lives, was an extreme outcome of a fairly common incident. Coastguard Kaipara president Iain Guilliford said the Kaipara bar was easily the biggest in the country, covering nearly 10 km and stretching 8km out to sea. Waves catching up from behind pose the biggest threat coming in. They can lift the rear of the boat pushing the bow under water and causing the boats to skew around and roll, or swamp it. Read the story here 13:46

Lady Sarah captain ‘pretty gutted’ after boat runs aground near Lake Ellesmere

The captain of a fishing vessel that ran aground near Lake Ellesmere is “pretty gutted”. The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) received a distress call from aboard the Lady Sarah about 2am, Thursday, Maritime New Zealand spokesman said. It is understood the 22 metre vessel was trawling for elephant fish off the Eastern coast. “Three people were on board, they were evacuated and are now safe and well.” Captain Chris Jarman told Stuff  he was “pretty gutted and shaken up”. “Myself and my two crew, no injuries and we got on land perfectly fine, that’s the main thing, everyone is safe.” Read the story here 18:55

Fishing company Sanford Limited rails against Hauraki Gulf “Sea Change” plan

3-hauraki-gulf-jpegThe plan called Sea Change -Tai Timu Tai Pari was unveiled in Auckland last night and suggests a blueprint to tackle growing problems like depleted seafood stocks, sediment damage and pressure from population growth around the gulf. Four years in the making, the collaborative blueprint consulted 14 community and governmental groups to find a way to improve the health and sustainability of the Hauraki Gulf. To reverse declining fish stocks it wants to phase out fishing methods such as trawling, Danish Seining, set netting and dredging. It suggests commercial fishing companies should instead concentrate on producing higher-quality fish, caught using long-lines. The fishing company Sanford is the biggest fisher in the area holding about 40 percent of the quotas in the Hauraki Gulf. The recommendations in the plan were based on emotions, not science, Sanford chief executive Volker Kuntzsch said. Read the story here 16:21

Fishing friends perrish aboard capsized New Zealand charter boat crossing the Kaipara Bar

eight_col_francie_chartersSeven men died and the search for one person who is presumed dead and the boat, the Francie, which capsized yesterday in Kaipara Harbour continued on Sunday. At a news conference this afternoon, Inspector Willie Fanene said everyone except for the skipper who was on board the capsized boat was of Pacific Island ethnicity. He said they were men aged between 31 and 59 and they were a group of friends who liked to go fishing together from time to time. One of the seven who died was the boat’s skipper, William McNatty, known as Bill. He said one person is still missing but it is likely this person has also died. Inspector Mark Fergus said three people who had been taken to hospital after the accident have now been discharged. He said one person is still missing but it is likely this person has also died. The vessel alerted the Coastguard that it was crossing the bar at 2pm yesterday afternoon, saying it was inbound across the Kaipara Bar with 11 people on-board, requesting a 60-minute watch. An hour later an alarm was sounded in the Coastguard Northern Region Operations Centre when the Bar Crossing Report expired. Read the story here 15:46

Close ports to Sea Shepherd or risk sharing guilt for its vigilantism

Sea Shepherd is again heading into dangerous territory. Last week’s announcement that its new $12 million custom-built Ocean Warrior (watch video here) has arrived here for a Southern Ocean incursion this summer is disturbing. Ship captain Adam Meyerson is boasting the group’s new vessel is a game changer because of its increased speed, long-range fuel tanks, helicopter landing pad and 20,000 litres-per-minute water cannon. Sea Shepherd is once more aiming to engage in close combat with the Japanese research fleet. That puts this group in the cate­gory of an environmental non-state combatant. It’s in an inter­national area engaged in the use of force, with actions close to vigilantism. It enjoys the reputation of piracy, but for quasi public rather than private ends. The International Court of Justice judgment in the whaling case two years ago was a hollow victory for environmental activists. The court didn’t rule that what the Japanese were doing was commercial whaling. Nor did it say that issuing permits to take whales by lethal means for scientific research was illegal. This left open the option of a new Japanese scientific whaling program. Read the rest here 08:56

Tsunami hits New Zealand after magnitude-7.8 earthquake strikes near Christchurch

_92422394_d69d5a44-0338-47cd-ad34-eb7c4b94dbe8A tsunami has hit after an earthquake struck New Zealand’s South Island. The US Geological Survey said the magnitude-7.8 quake hit just after midnight (11:02 GMT on Sunday), some 95km (59 miles) from Christchurch. The tsunami arrived in the north-eastern coast about two hours later. Officials said the first waves may not be the largest, with tsunami activity possible for several hours. Residents were warned to head inland or for higher ground along the coast. A gauge at Kaikoura, 181 km (112 miles) north of Christchurch, measured a wave of 2.5m (8ft 2ins), according to Weatherwatch.co.nz. Smaller waves are said to be arriving in Wellington and other areas, the website said. But the ministry of civil defence has said the highest waves, which could be as tall as 5m are expected between Malborough, the north-eastern tip of the South Island, and Banks Peninsula, just south of Christchurch. Read the story here 11:08

New Nelson-built fishing vessel F/V Santy Maria carries economic and environmental hopes

The FV Santy Maria is the first vessel in Moana New Zealand’s $25-$30 million fleet renewal project and was officially blessed at Port Nelson on Thursday. The vessel was built in Nelson by Aimex Service Group for Tauranga-based fisherman Roger Rawlinson Technical expertise was provided by Westfleet chief executive Craig Boote. The vessel is named after Rawlinson’s mother Santy, who started the family business RMD with his father Bill more than 25 years ago, and was present at the launch. Designed to suit New Zealand’s conditions, the vessel is said to provide improved fuel efficiency, power and stability, and productivity while using precision seafood harvesting technology. Read the story here 08:20