Tag Archives: New Zealand

Coroner to probe death of fisherman on Sealord vessel

A fisherman has died at sea on his first trip aboard the Sealord trawler Ocean Dawn. Nelson-based Sealord chief executive Doug Paulin said the 47-year-old man was found unresponsive outside his cabin in the early hours of Tuesday on the 64m factory trawler. Crew tried to resuscitate him but were unable to. Paulin said he could not comment on the cause of the man’s death as that would be determined by a coroner’s investigation. >click to read< 09:12

A skipper named ‘Crazy Horse’, a ‘dicky’ autopilot and a sailing trip that foundered on a beach

After hours of sailing a 14m fishing vessel on “an extremely erratic” course up the coast towards Christchurch, doubling back and then turning around again to head in the same direction closer to the shore, skipper David “Crazy Horse” Atkinson was lost. It was 9pm, he was not sure where he was, and he only had rudimentary knowledge of how to use the boat’s navigational equipment. His crew aboard the trawler, the F/V Debbie Jane, consisted of a 41-year-old woman and a 73-year-old retired school teacher who was living with him – neither of whom had any commercial fishing experience. >click to read< 08:03

Trawler skipper who got lost off Christchurch admits safety breaches

Shortly before a trawler skipper lost his bearings in gathering darkness off the Christchurch coast, one of his crew had rolled him a cannabis joint. Maritime New Zealand’s summary of facts does not say whether the skipper, 67-year-old David Anderson, actually smoked the joint, but the trawler ran aground on Waimairi Beach a few hours later. The F/V Debbie Jane’s disastrous trip from Akaroa to Nelson in December 2019 was detailed in the Christchurch District Court, when Anderson admitted two charges. >click to read< 07:48

Hundreds of workers flown home to Pacific despite fishing firms’ pleas

Tongan, Samoan and ni-Vanuatu horticulture workers have been redeployed or flown home, to the disappointment of the country’s biggest fishing companies who had asked for help filling hundreds of jobs in their processing plants. Between 200 and 500 workers still had time left on their Recognised Seasonal Employer visas, at the end of fruit-picking season in Nelson and Marlborough. Sealord and Talley’ wrote to the immigration minister asking that workers be given the chance to transfer over to better-paid seafood jobs, to help address a big labour shortage at the start of New Zealand’s lucrative hoki season. >click to read< 09:32

Hull tipped over for fishing boat build

An important stage in the construction of a new $6 million fishing vessel in Nelson has been reached, with the boat’s hull lowered and turned over in the water. The longline vessel Te Runanga is being built for Westfleet by Nelson-based Aimex Service Group and on Friday the hull was lowered into Nelson Harbour so the next stage of the build can begin. The hull had been built upside down at Aimex’s workshop, and because of its weight, rolling it over on the water was the easiest way to turn it up the right way for the vessel build to be finished while it was in the water, Video, photos, >click to read< 08:47

Details Needed about Cameras on Vessels Announcement – Cameras hailed, with caveat

In response to Minister David Parker’s announcement on 25 May about the national roll-out of cameras on commercial inshore fishing vessels, Seafood New Zealand (SNZ) Chief Executive Jeremy Helson says the most important questions still remain unanswered. “We now know a couple more details, and it is good to see progress, but we are still very much in the dark about the important things. >click to read<

Safetytech Accelerator collaborates with FISH Safety Foundation to explore safety technology in fishing

Safetytech Accelerator has collaborated with FISH Safety Foundation to explore how technologies can improve the safety of the fishing industry. Fishing is one of the world’s most dangerous professions. New research by the FISH Safety Foundation suggests fisher mortality rates are significantly higher than the earlier estimates of 24,000 per year, on top of which we can assume a far higher rate of injuries. FISH Safety Foundation is focused on helping countries and organisations with training and advisory services, as well as assistance with the practical application of systems, legislative requirements and guidelines.  >click to read< 10:57

New Zealand: Rollout of camera monitoring on commercial fishing vessels confirmed

Up to 300 inshore fishing vessels will be fitted with the technology by the end of 2024, providing independent, accurate information about fishing activity and better evidence for decision-making,” Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker said. “It will be supported by cutting-edge artificial intelligence software that will help put New Zealand at the forefront of camera monitoring technology. The introduction of on-board cameras is a key component of the Government’s fisheries reforms. It follows the 2019 roll out of cameras on vessels operating in core Māui dolphin habitat, and builds on work initiated in 2017 by the then-Minister, Nathan Guy. >click to read< 10:25

Search net widens for owner of San Rosa as boat’s history emerges

Authorities are struggling to contact the owners of a shipwrecked boat almost six weeks after the vessel got into difficulty in rough seas off the East Coast. On April 9, the crew of ex-fishing trawler San Rosa sent out a mayday about 10 nautical miles off Tokomaru Bay, after encountering four-metre swells en route to Marlborough. The boat’s three crew members, plus a dog, were winched to safety by helicopter. San Rosa then drifted unattended for six days before beaching on April 15 at a remote section of beach near Tikitiki, two hours north of Gisborne. Thirty-five days later, Gisborne District Council harbourmaster Peter Buell​ says he still hasn’t been able to reach the owners, despite numerous attempts. “We’re trying every way we can to get in touch with this guy. But no response so far, and I doubt we’ll get any,” Buell said.  >click to read< 15:23

Far North iwi creating fishery pathways for rangatahi in South Island

The fisheries sector in Te Waipounamu (South Island) has a number of career opportunities for both rangatahi (young people) and those with more experience. Two Far North iwi have travelled to Te Waipounamu (South Island) to help establish employment pathways for rangatahi (youth) in the fisheries sector. An iwi delegation comprising Whangaroa and Te Aupōuri members was busy touring Nelson and Motueka last week, exploring opportunities for mahi (work) in both deep-sea fishing and shore-based factory processing. Sealord and Talley’s hosted the group, who were shown around each of the company’s different facilities, including Talley’s Motueka accommodation for shore-based northern workers and a deep-sea fishing school at Westport. Te Aupōuri commercial manager Penetaui Kleskovic said feedback from the sector was there was dire a shortage of workers for New Zealand’s deep-sea fishing fleets. >click to read< 16:22

Fish and chips may ‘double’ in price without fuel help

A major figure in New Zealand’s fishing industry warns more boats could be tied up and the price of fish and chips will double unless the sector gets the same fuel assistance given to others. Already Westfleet Seafoods’ 400 tonne trawler Tasman Viking has been tied up at Nelson’s port for a fortnight because of the spiraling cost of fuel. The company’s chief executive, Craig Boote, said that if the government did not play fair and apply fuel discounts to all New Zealand businesses the fishing industry could be on its knees in weeks. “Fuel is a huge component of our commercial operations and without a reduction the price of fish will unfortunately skyrocket,” he said. “The only other option is to tie boats up, which of course has a snowball effect, with onshore jobs in the factory, engineering and more, being negatively affected.”  >click to read<  09:02

Ship strikes a cause of whale shark decline

Scientists are looking to better track whale sharks in New Zealand to determine how vulnerable they are to ship strikes after an international study found it may be the cause of their decline. The report, led by the Marine Biological Association of the UK and the University of Southampton, tracked 348 satellite-tagged whale sharks. The tags showed individual whale sharks, which are an endangered species, moving into shipping lanes and then sinking slowly to the sea floor, hundreds of metres below, backing the theory that they were struck by tankers or cargo vessels. >click to read< 10:36

‘I’ve been here all the time’

Elusive mariner David Atkinson has told a court he wasn’t hiding during the months he was out of contact with the justice system. However, he still has not spoken to his lawyer about charges laid by Maritime NZ over a trawler that grounded on a beach near Christchurch in 2019. Atkinson appeared on driving matters before Judge Russell Cooper in the Hastings District Court today. Discussion soon turned to an arrest warrant issued in the Christchurch District Court last month after it heard that Atkinson had been off the radar since September last year. >click to read< 07:58

Skipper of grounded fishing trawler hasn’t been heard from in months

Would trawlerman David Atkinson please come in? Your time is up. In fact, Christchurch District Court Judge Michael Crosbie is so convinced that your time is up, that he has issued a warrant for your arrest. That means the courts and the police would be keen to hear from you, and so would Maritime New Zealand which is bringing charges against you. And so would your lawyer, Michael Starling. Atkinson is facing charges following the grounding of a fishing trawler in Christchurch two years ago. >click to read< 08:03

Death of the scallops: How a Kiwi delicacy was driven to the brink of collapse

Just a decade ago, the scallop (tipa) fishing industry in New Zealand was thriving, with population numbers holding strong and quotas so loose that many were unable to reach their catch limit. The situation just 10 years later has changed drastically, with the Government forced to take immediate action, shutting down the majority of scallop fisheries in order to preserve a population that is on the brink of collapse. For now, scallops are practically off the menu. There’s a real economic concern for fishing companies, who have slowly had their commercial options taken away and are left to grapple with what to do next. Those boats relying on scallop fishing have been left in a precarious situation, Lawson says, and pivoting from scallop fishing to another kind of catch would likely require a total boat re-fit, which could be a costly risk. >click to read< 20:02

Retired fisherman shocked to hear online troll used his photograph

Cyril Lawless got quite the surprise this week when he discovered his photograph was used on a fake social media profile used to troll female politicians. The 62-year-old retired fisherman who lives in Riverton, Southland was used as the face behind the fake Hamish Eggstein account, created by Young Nat Jessee MacKenzie. MacKenzie admitted on Thursday he was the person responsible for misogynistic trolling of at least three female politicians via two fake social media accounts under the names of Eggstein and Emiliano Donnrumma​. >click to read< 19:42

Talley’s subsidiary found guilty of bottom trawling in conservation area

Convictions for bottom trawling in a protected area of the Tasman Sea should send a strong message to the fishing industry, says the Ministry for Primary Industries. Judge David Ruth in the Nelson District Court found Talley’s subsidiary Amaltal Fishing Co breached the conditions of its high seas fishing permit when its vessel, Amaltal Apollo, trawled in a protected area. Both Amaltal Fishing Co and the then-master of the vessel, Charles Shuttleworth, were found guilty on 14 charges. A date has not yet been set for sentencing. >click to read< 10:02

Drugs on deck: Meth abuse hampers use of fisheries observers

Methamphetamine abuse aboard the commercial fishing fleet is preventing officials from placing observers on high-risk vessels. Reports released reveal hard drug use and the erratic behaviour of crew has led to observers feeling unsafe. And in some cases, the Ministry for Primary Industries have refused to put staff on board. And a survey commissioned by Maritime NZ reveals 30 per cent of fishers knew someone who used drugs while on deck. It follows the death of 26-year-old Steffan Stewart, who died after becoming trapped in a piece of machinery aboard a factory trawler. He was found with methamphetamine in his system likely consumed at sea, a Transport Accident Investigation Commission review found. >click to read< 11:37

Tonga tsunami: Tutukaka damage has business wondering, ‘what next?’

The clean-up is set to continue at Tutukaka Marina on Monday, after a tsunami surge from the Tongan earthquake hit the marina on Saturday night. About eight to 10 boats have sunk, numerous other boats have been damaged, and there is extensive damage to marina structures,,, While the tsunami surges were noticed across Northland’s west and east coasts, Tutukaka appears to be the only place where there is significant damage. >click to read< 11:07

Fishing charges dismissed after ‘regulatory storm’,

Campbell McManaway steamed out of Bluff Harbour headed for Dusky Sound to fish for kina, unaware of the regulatory storm awaiting upon return. The fisherman found himself in a three-and-a-half year, $350,000 dispute with the Ministry for Primary Industries, after processing kina at sea in Fiordland in June 2018. In the midst of the legal dispute, McManaway was going into debt, paying up to $40,000 a month in legal fees and thinking about leaving the industry. >click to read< 09:03

Whirling ‘Triffids’ are now cluttering our coastlines

For years now, subsidised wind energy investors have been razing ridgelines, felling forests, and slicing birds, bats, and insects. But neighbours and nature-lovers are fighting back. So now the wind speculators race for off-shore space in shallow seas. ‘The Day of the Triffids’ is coming for coastal communities as these towers of whirling knives accelerate their invasion of shallow coastal waters. They pose a lethal danger to sea birds – beheading or de-winging pelicans and petrels, seagulls and sea eagles, gannets and grebes, kites and gliders. They also endanger coastal shipping, barges, helicopters, fishermen, and tourists. And the noise pollution from pile driving and turbine whine is affecting whales and seals. >click to read< 15:22

Little piece of gold tradition in $6m boat build

Construction of a new $6 million fishing vessel in Nelson is well underway, with a keel laying ceremony held in line with tradition. The $6 million longline fishing vessel Te Runanga is being built for Westfleet by Nelson-based Aimex Service Group. Newly appointed Aimex general manager Andy Smith said that following tradition a ceremony was held this month to place a gold coin under the keel to keep everybody involved with the vessel safe, from during construction to when it was at sea. The “massive” steel keel block was lowered onto the coin. >click to read< 08:10

Crewman admits leaving vessel’s bridge before collision

A fishing boat crewman who had left the bridge unattended when the vessel collided with a bulk carrier outside the Lyttelton Heads has admitted a charge under the Maritime Transport Act. Christopher Anderson, who had been employed by the fishing company for 12 years, admitted the charge of causing unnecessary danger or risk to the F/V Leila Jo fishing boat, and the bulk carrier, and the people on board, in the incident on January 12, 2020. >click to read< 08:53

Sanford fined for crew member’s ‘avoidable’ death

Sanford Limited has been fined $375,000 and ordered to pay $121,860 reparations and $35,000 costs to the family of a crew member who died on one of its fishing vessels,,, Steffan Antony Stewart, 26, of New Plymouth, died after becoming entangled in machinery on the factory fishing vessel, San Granit, on November 14, 2018. Stewart had entered part of an automated freezer system to clear a blockage. When the system activated he became caught and was fatally injured by moving parts of the system. “The factory supervisor checked workers every hour. However, the factory supervisor on Mr Stewart’s shift was unfamiliar with the automated freezer system and therefore limited in their ability to monitor and provide the supervision necessary to help keep workers safe. >click to read< 08:39

Selling Whale Poop

The stone is waxy, gritty, and leaves on the skin a trace of oily resin not unlike cannabidiol. Its smell, which so many have labelled “indescribable,” is an olfactory kaleidoscope: tobacco, wood, damp leaves, live animals. It smells like the sea, which is where it comes from, and shit, which is what it is. It seems absurd that people have been shot at, run over and threatened by a territorial mob known as the Beach Mafia… for this. Ambergris. One of the world’s most mysterious substances, these hardened little lumps of bodily fluid have been misidentified over the centuries as everything from meteorites to mushrooms, dragon spit to fish liver.,, In reality, the precious stones are a digestive byproduct of one of the largest animals on Earth. And to the right buyer, namely, someone who knows the right people in the luxury perfume industry, they’re worth a small fortune Video, >click to read< 10:33

New Zealand: Reparation sought for family of man who died on Sanford factory trawler

New Plymouth man Steffan Antony Stewart, 26, was discovered fatally injured on the factory deck of the San Granit on November 14, 2018, after becoming trapped in a piece of machinery aboard the New Zealand-registered deep-sea factory trawler. The deckhand immediately raised the alarm, but after Stewart was removed from the accumulator the ship’s medic found no signs of life. The 67-metre vessel, which had been trawling 102 kilometres east of Banks Peninsula, immediately returned to Timaru’s port, arriving about 4pm that day. Representatives of Maritime New Zealand and Sanford appeared before Judge Tony Couch in the Timaru District Court on Thursday. >click to read< 09:25

Retiring rescue helicopter paramedic Doug Flett recalls life on the frontline

The call came at midnight. An emergency beacon had been activated. That was all intensive care paramedic Doug Flett, pilot Graeme Gale, co-pilot Mike Reed and Search And Rescue’s Brian Benn knew as their helicopter ascended into the darkness at Taieri Airfield. Who, why, where – they did not have a clue. “We picked up the beacon not long after lifting off and tracked it heading north towards the coast,” Flett recalls of that May, 2003, night. Back then, the National Rescue Co-ordination Centre was a Monday to Friday, daytime operation. After-hours jobs were run from the on-duty staffer’s home using a briefcase and a cellphone. On this occasion, things did not go well. >click to read< 08:59

Ocean Fisheries Ltd: Propspeed foul-release coatings has now become a must-do job at all haul outs.

Propspeed, leading innovator of underwater foul-release coatings, announced today it has been selected by Ocean Fisheries Ltd. as the preferred foul-release coating for its fleet of commercial fishing vessels.  “Application of Propspeed has now become a must-do job at all haul outs. In addition, we historically had issues with weed growth on the keel coolers for the main and auxiliary engines, ice maker, hydraulics and echo sounder transducers. After a discussion with Propspeed we applied the product to the echo sounders and keel coolers at our most recent 2020 haul outs and we expect the same lack of growth to occur. We would have no hesitation in recommending other trawl vessel owners apply Propspeed because it severely inhibits weed and marine growth. >click to read< 10:15

Illegal trawling trial concludes after 10-month hiatus

Fishing company Amaltal has maintained its position that a vessel found trawling in an unauthorised area was the fault of the skipper and not the company. Amaltal, the deepwater division of Talley’s Group, and skipper Charles Shuttleworth​ are on trial in the Nelson District Court for allegedly trawling in an area closed to fishing in the Lord Howe Rise in the Tasman Sea – from an incident in May 2018.,, The Amaltal F/V Apollo left Nelson in May 2018, on a trip to fish for orange roughy and alfonsino. During the trip, there was confusion over the area the vessel was fishing in. >click to read< 14:44

Speaking of the nutters! U.K. weighing ban on boiling lobsters alive

Under new amendments to animal welfare bill, crabs, lobsters, octopi, squid and other invertebrates, are set to be recognized as sentient beings that are capable of feeling pain. A simple google search will tell savvy home cooks looking to try their hand at cooking lobster to simply plunge the live creatures, headfirst, straight into a pot of (salted) boiling water. A piece of animal welfare legislation is currently winding its way through the U.K. parliament. “Lobsters struggle violently for approximately two minutes after being placed in boiling water,,, “scalding” animals to death is “unnecessarily cruel”, a belief that has been echoed by other animal welfare advocates and organizations, like the U.K. based Crustacean Compassion. Legislation banning boiling of lobsters alive has already been passed in a handful of countries, including New Zealand, Switzerland and Austria. >click to read< 20:34