Tag Archives: New Zealand

Three Fijian fishermen found by NZ Air Force after missing for nine days at sea

They had not been heard from since and did not have locator beacons. Their sole communication was a mobile phone that was believed to have run out of battery, but they did have life jackets and flares. Local search efforts were hampered by poor weather, and the Rescue Coordination Centre Fiji asked for help. The Poseidon P-8A aircraft and crew were launched to assist on Wednesday morning. By the afternoon, they had located the fishers using radar and visual searches and contacted a nearby vessel to rescue them. Air component commander Air Commodore Andy Scott said it was a challenging search over a large area. >>click to read<< 09:19

It’s here – the future of commercial fishing

New trawling technology – billed as “the future of sustainable fishing” – has been unveiled to the New Zealand seafood industry at its annual conference in Auckland this afternoon. The system, which has been in development in this country for almost 10 years, uses a large, flexible PVC tube instead of a traditional mesh trawling net. New Zealand fishing companies Aotearoa Fisheries, Sanford and Sealord are investing $26 million into the commercialisation phase of the technology, called Precision Seafood Harvesting. The Government is matching industry investment and scientists from Plant & Food Research, a Crown Research Institute, are working with the three fishing firms to trial the system on commercial vessels. Photos, Video, >>click to read<< 07:33

Grounded Austro Carina boat leaks all its diesel into ocean at Red Bluff

Thousands of litres of diesel has leaked from a boat which ran aground on Banks Peninsula two weeks ago, says Canterbury Regional Council. Large swells had broken up the Austro Carina fishing boat at Red Bluff near Shell Bay. The council said 10,000 litres of diesel had slowly dispersed over the past week. It said up to 400 litres of hydraulic oil could also be leaking from the engine room, but crews could not reach it to check. Salvage teams had so far picked up 31 large bags of rubbish, debris and fish bins. Fishing nets had also been removed from the vessel, aside from some that were unable to be cut away from under the stern. The wreck had broken up significantly and had moved up the beach to the north. >>click to read<< 17:24

Grounded Austro Carina trawler at Banks Peninsula starting to break up, salvage could take months

The fishing boat that ran aground at Banks Peninsula carrying thousands of litres of diesel is breaking up, Canterbury Regional Council says. Heavy swells continue to make it difficult for crews to get to the Austro Carina, which ran aground near a marine reserve at Shell Bay’s Red Bluff on 24 September. The boat was carrying about 10,000 litres of diesel and 400 litres of hydraulic oil. The council warned it could take months to salvage the wreck, with the necessary equipment unavailable in New Zealand. Wild weather that battered Banks Peninsula earlier this week ripped a hole in the boat. >>click to read<< 09:50

Shell Bay, Banks Peninsula oil spill: Plan to remove boat in the works

The 25m Austro Carina, owned and operated by Lyttelton-based Pegasus Fishing Ltd, ran aground near picturesque Shell Bay on the southeastern side of the Banks Peninsula on Sunday, September 24. The 140-150 tonne boat is currently still stuck with the gaping hole at the bottom of a 100-metre, potentially unstable cliff. The unfortunate position of the boat means it cannot be reached, according to the regional council, Environment Canterbury (ECan).  “Access to the vessel by water has been heavily restricted by heavy seas, the rugged shoreline, and poor weather over the last week,” Emma Parr, Regional On-Scene Commander for the Harbourmaster’s Office, said. Photos, >>click to read<< 09:43

Owner of grounded trawler working on salvage plan

The owner of a fuel-laden fishing trawler that is grounded off Banks Peninsula is working on a salvage plan for the stricken boat and has promised to help manage the environmental impact of any spills. Four crew members had to be winched to safety by helicopter when the 25m Austro Carina ran aground at Red Bluff near Shell Bay last Sunday night, carrying 10,000L of diesel and 400L of hydraulic oil. The boat’s owner Pegasus Fishing said it was working with authorities on the best approach to salvage the trawler. “We are happy to confirm media reports that all our crew are safe and well, although they are still understandably shaken from the events of Sunday night,” the statement said. >>click to read<< 08:07

Deadliest Catch star visits Pictou to promote technology combatting ghost fishing gear

Any fisherman understands that keeping the waters clean will help ensure a viable future for the industry. “If you want a future, you have to invest in that future,” said Capt. Sig Hansen from Discovery Channel’s The Deadliest Catch. “So why not try to keep our oceans clean? That’s our responsibility.” Hansen has partnered with Resqunit (pronounced “rescue unit”), lending his star power to an endeavor they hope will assist in helping to protect the environment in which fishermen and women ply their trade. The Resqunit is a lost gear retrieval unit that can be attached to a line of traps, in case a fisher loses a buoy because of storms, accidents or by other means. It includes a user-controlled timer release that is set by using on an app on your phone. If needed, the unit will deploy after a set length of time, rise to the surface and allow fishers to retrieve their traps. >>click to read<< 14:04

Sealord convicted for endangering workers after asbestos found on fishing vessel Will Watch

A worker who found what he strongly suspected was asbestos on a fishing vessel has led to a conviction for seafood company Sealord on a charge linked to its failure to properly protect workers from harm. In 2021 the crew member was among several seconded to the 50-year-old fishing vessel Will Watch for a fishing trip in the southern Indian Ocean. He noticed a form of insulation in a locker room that he didn’t recognise and raised the alarm with the ship’s captain. Sealord did not believe there was any risk to the Will Watch crew from asbestos, believing it had been removed from the vessel before it arrived in New Zealand in the 1980s. >click to read< 13:36

Fisheries plan ignores anti-bottom trawling protest

Greenpeace oceans campaigner Ellie Hooper says the new plan does nothing meaningful to address destruction of the seabed. “We see this plan as a missed opportunity to protect the ocean from the ravages of bottom trawling and truly transform commercial fishing in Aotearoa.” The draft plan, released in April, was blasted as ‘all carrot no stick’. Not so, says the Government. Announcing the final plan, Minister for Oceans Rachel Brooking said it struck a balance between looking after the ocean and making sure New Zealand had a sustainable seafood sector that can cope with the impacts of climate change. For example, the transformation plan looks at ways the industry can earn more and create more jobs without catching more fish, by utilising the whole catch in nutraceuticals and other novel uses. It also suggests the creation, incentivisation and adoption of new technology means restrictions on bottom trawling aren’t needed. >click to read< 18:17

Skipper in deep water again after Catlins sinking

A rogue Dunedin commercial fisherman who flouted maritime rules has, like his vessel, found himself in deep water. Wayne John Jolly, 58, appeared in the Dunedin District Court this week after admitting skippering a ship without appropriate documentation and was sentenced to 250 hours’ community work. The importance of complying with such protocols was resoundingly brought home to Jolly in March last year when his boat Aurora – a 15.6m wooden trawler built in Port Chalmers in 1958 – sank about a nautical mile off the coast of the Tautuku Peninsula, in the Catlins. Jolly’s history of non-compliance with maritime law stretched back 17 years. >click to read< 10:02

$20m deal for New Zealand seafood secured with a signed EU-NZ FTA

New Zealand seafood will gain $20 million in tariff reductions when the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union comes into force in the first quarter of 2024. The FTA was signed in Brussels on 9 July, slightly more than one year to the date that FTA negotiations concluded. The elimination of tariffs (a tax imposed on imported products) will considerably increase the earnings from New Zealand seafood exports, “New Zealand commercial fishers are stepping up to meet the demand and maintain our global reputation for high-quality, sustainable wild-caught fish. The impact of this deal will be felt across the sector, from the many small family-run fishing businesses to the larger companies that are major employers in our regions,” Dr Helson says. >click to read< 19:26

New Zealand: Fishing industry boasts of lowest carbon emissions – with caveats

“In 25 years at sea, I’ve seen quite a lot of changes,” Epiha says. “For example, they’re not shy at upgrading boats. Now we’re starting to see results from our fuel usage, fuel savings, reduced carbon footprint.” The 64-metre San Discovery, which he captains, is a deep-sea trawler that can produce fillets, headed and gutted fish, squid tubes, fishmeal and fish oil – all processed, packaged and labelled to export standards. “What I can hand-on-heart say is, we do care a lot about the environment,” he says. “It’s engrained in the way we operate, adjusting gear to make sure that it’s less drag on the bottom, easier to tow, because all that adds up to less fuel usage.” >click to read< 07:49

Greymouth fishing company Westfleet loses multi-million dollar trawler for coral weighing ‘less than half a pound of butter’

A deep sea fishing company has lost its multi-million dollar trawler to the Crown in a case described by a judge as a “cavalier approach to the whole area of compliance”. Greymouth-based Westfleet Fishing Limited was sentenced in the Nelson District Court today on a charge of breaching a condition of a high seas permit and a representative charge of failing to provide a Non-Fish Protected Species (NFPS) Report. Along with losing its trawler Westfleet was also convicted and fined $56,250. Former skipper Stephen John Smith was separately convicted and fined $7500 for contravening a condition of a high seas permit, while first mate Nicholas Taikato was convicted and fined $6000 on a representative charge of failing to provide an NFPS report. >click to read< 09:10

Fishing tech all set to net the catch of the day and nothing else

Dom Talijancich has every available sensor technology on board his 24-meter trawler, FV Mako. Everything but a camera and AI system that identifies what type of species are entering his net during a tow. If the technology were available, the Nelson fisherman and businessman would have got it immediately. But there was gap in the market for a piece of equipment like that, and it led him to developing his own company and the technology to do the job. Talijancich’s tech company Advanced Conservation Solutions (ACS) have tech that can improve the sustainability of commercial fishing using artificial intelligence (AI). >click to read< 08:53

Locally built addition to fishing fleet launched at Careys Bay

A Dunedin commercial fisher has launched his newest vessel, F/V Elodie, amid fanfare at Careys Bay. Damon Cooper has been fishing commercially for 30 years and added a third boat to his fleet on Saturday, with the boat launch. Otago Rock Lobster Industry Association executive officer Chanel Gardner said her husband, Mr Cooper, was committed to and very passionate about the fishing industry in Otago. The boat was built in Dunedin to contribute to the local fishing industry, she said. The boat will mainly fish rock lobster and blue cod and its more efficient systems would enable Mr Cooper to get the rock lobster to market in excellent shape. >click to read< 15:36

Boats likely stuck ‘in the middle of nowhere’ for several days after storm

A boat that broke free and ran aground during a storm that left thousands without power could take up to two weeks to salvage, a harbourmaster says. The storm that battered the South Island on Tuesday whipped boats from their moorings and caused some damage to the power networks managed by PowerNet in Southland, leaving hundreds of customers without power overnight. On Wednesday afternoon, a 14-metre-long private boat bearing the name Liane could be seen half-submerged in the mudflats of Pourakino River in the Jacobs River Estuary, in front of the Aparima Restaurant and Bar. He said it was one of two boats that sank as a result of the storm. Photos, >click to read< 08:52

NZ fishing companies employing Russian crews despite sanctions

Despite New Zealand implementing sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine – the fishing industry continues to bring in Russian crew. Figures from Immigration New Zealand show last year, 306 Critical Purpose visas were approved for Russian nationals who travelled here and identified as fishing crew. That compares to 238 in 2021 and 511 in 2020. One of the companies which employs them is Sealord. Its chief executive Doug Paulin said Sealord needed to employ Russians because one of its vessels was Russian built. “New Zealand has had a number of Russian built fishing vessels here for well over 20 years. And whilst the number of those vessels is slowly decreasing as Sealord looks to replace them, they are still fishing in New Zealand waters, and require Russian crew to man them given their mechanical expertise and how those boats run.” >click to read< 11:49

Dredging for Bluff oyster gold in Foveaux Strait

Just before 2am on Wednesday, oyster boat Daphne Kay left its dock at South Port. The crew is five family members. Three brothers, a brother-in-law, and a son. Ricky Ryan is the skipper, with brothers Lynn, Jason, brother-in-law Karl and Ricky’s son Ethan making up the oystermen crew of five. Some of the brothers have been involved in oystering for 44 years. Ethan, trained to be a heat pump installer and worked in refrigeration, but returned to the boat and is now in his second season. He says he actually regrets not getting into the family business earlier. The Daphne Kay, one of the first to leave in the mornings of oyster season, heads out early, so the crew can work out of the sunlight. Photos, >click to read< 09:48

Tauranga skipper Bert Aitken retires after 43 years in fishing industry

After 43 years working at sea, commercial skipper Robert ‘Bert’ Aitken has “never” been seasick. Aitken has been working in the fishing industry for 43 years, spending the majority of that time at commercial seafood company Sanford. Wednesday was his last day. He started his career as an unqualified deckhand, eventually working his way up to become a skipper. For a typical fishing trip, Aitken would travel from Tauranga to Auckland on a Wednesday. The boat would then leave Thursday morning and not return until the following Wednesday. Everything needed to be organised beforehand, including checking the weather, making a plan on where to fish and getting ice and bins, he said. He and his two crew members, Matangaro “Mat”’ Ben and Mike Jones, would then head out. Aitken said they fished on the East Coast, anywhere between Cape Brett in the Bay of Islands and Cape Runaway. Photos, >click to read< 19:21

Cawthron boss told he should have expressed himself better

Cawthron Institute chief executive Volker Kuntzsch was expressing his personal opinion when he told an industry symposium that New Zealand had no future without fishing, the institute’s chair says. “I don’t think he’s expressed them in the way that he should have expressed them,” says Meg Matthews. “I think he was challenging the status quo. I think he was hoping to shift mindsets.” It comes amid concerns from academic leaders and environmental groups that Kuntzsch has undermined the independence and scientific credibility of the institute, with his claims about the sustainability of the seafood industry, and his criticism of the carbon emissions of farming and plant-based protein. >click to read< 19:24

Sanford Goes for Green with Maaskant Order

New Zealand seafood company Sanford Limited has placed an order with Damen Shipbuilding Maaskant for the design and build of a new scampi vessel for operation in the Southern Ocean. This new vessel is expected to contribute to Sanford’s target of reducing the carbon footprint from its direct operations by 25% between 2020 and 2030. The construction of the diesel-electric vessel will take place at the Damen Maaskant yard in the Netherlands, with a delivery date in 2025. Images, >click to read< 20:29

New Zealand fines Southland fishing company $40,000 – Boat and nets forfeited

Cando Fishing Limited and Campbell David McManaway, 59, were sentenced in the Invercargill District Court today on multiple charges under the Fisheries Act they earlier pleaded guilty to following a successful prosecution by Ministry for Primary Industries. “We believe this aspect of the sentence sends a strong message to all commercial fishers. For the Quota management system to be effective in managing sustainability, all fishing activity needs to be captured correctly or the system won’t account for that activity creating a real threat to the resource through overfishing or incorrect reporting,” says MPI regional manager fisheries compliance, Garreth Jay. As a result of the fisheries convictions the fishing vessel, F/V San Nicholas was forfeited to the Crown along with 32 set nets. >click to read< 07:59

New Zealand: Abandoned shipwreck finally removed from East Coast beach

An abandoned boat that proved a thorn in the side of both Gisborne District Council and the police has finally been removed from a remote East Coast beach – six months after it washed ashore. However the owner remained elusive, meaning the council has been left with an invoice of over $10,000 for the clean-up. On 9 April, the former fishing trawler San Rosa was abandoned at sea after its three crew members were winched to safety by helicopter. The boat was recently purchased in Tauranga and was just two days into its maiden voyage with its new owners when it ran into difficulty. Photos, >click to read< 09:14

Skipper fined after boat collides with 266m container ship

The 19.5-metre-long vessel collided with the Kota Lembah container ship in July 2021. Skipper Mike Te Pou was on board with two crew members and an MPI observer at around 3.15am when he saw the Kota Lembah on his radar. The crew were setting out longlines for fishing and Te Pou decided to help them, despite seeing the container ship on his radar. Investigations Manager Pete Dwen said: “He remained away from the wheelhouse for 40 minutes. Didn’t check on the location of the Kota Lembah and at 3.55am; the two vessels collided. >click to read< 11:15

Fisherman forfeits boat after entering guilty pleas

A fishing company and its director will forfeit a fishing boat after entering guilty pleas in court on Tuesday. A lawyer acting for Cando Fishing Ltd. and its director Campbell McManaway entered guilty pleas to Fisheries Act and Fisheries Regulations charges in the Invercargill District Court on Tuesday. The company admitted 11 charges related to exceedingly long set nets, selling fish contrary to law, and record keeping. McManaway pleaded guilty to five charges related to failing to provide reports and omitting information from reports. >click to read< 13:48

Rock lobster back on the menu

New Zealand’s rock lobster industry is catching up on a slow year thanks to the end of a Chinese lockdown and the conclusion of an unlucky spiritual festival. Shanghai is one of New Zealand’s biggest lobster importers, but the city was locked down from March to June. Fiordland Lobsters sales and marketing general manager Andrew Harvey said it had taken time for the industry to get back up to speed. That was combined with Ghost Month, a time dedicated to the spirits of the dead which spanned from late July to August. Australia banned exports of lobster to China in 2020, which had also increased the New Zealand share of the market and helped it through some of the slow patches. >click to read< 08:47

Fishing company fined $59,000, vessel seized after illegal bottom trawling

A deep sea fishing company has had its vessel seized and fined $59,000 after illegal bottom trawling by a skipper on his first high sea job. The Amaltal Fishing Company, a subsidiary of Talley’s Group Limited, and skipper Charles Shuttleworth, were convicted and sentenced in Nelson District Court on Thursday on 14 charges of bottom trawling in a protected area. In March, Amaltal and Shuttleworth were found guilty of the charges, which were brought by the Ministry for Primary Industries. Reading from court documents, Judge David Ruth described how Shuttleworth, despite his 40-year experience, had never worked on the high seas. >click to read< 09:10

Catch Shares Enable Wealthy Landlords to Gobble Up Local Fisheries

A recent investigative report has reignited public discussion over catch shares, a controversial approach to fisheries management that privatizes the rights to fish. The investigation exposed how Blue Harvest Fisheries, owned by a billionaire Dutch family, became the largest holder of commercial fishing rights in New England, benefiting from lax antitrust regulations and pilfering profits from the local fishermen who work under them. As a commercial fisherman in Mississippi, I know these dynamics go well beyond New England. Here in the Gulf of Mexico, private equity firms and other large investors have come in and gobbled up the rights to fish, driving up the cost of fishing access and making it prohibitively expensive for fishermen like me to harvest fish in our own backyards. >click to read< 07:55

Govt’s response to future of commercial fishing in NZ report released

“The report has already been influential in shaping this Government’s approach to oceans and fisheries management,” David Parker said. The report calls for immediate evidence-based action and identified the first steps to be taken towards some longer term recommendations. Significant action has already been taken by this Government that contribute towards a number of the recommendations. These include: Requiring cameras on up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels by 2024. This will cover up to 85 per cent of the total catch from inshore fisheries and focuses on those fisheries that pose the greatest risk to protected species. >click to read< 10:31

Rainstorm spells end for F/V Tiki

After 60 years at sea and a previous narrow escape from flooding, luck has run out for the fishing boat Tiki. Tiki was one of two boats swept from their moorings in Karitane on Tuesday during the downpour that caused disruption throughout the South. Both boats ended up on nearby Waikouaiti Beach. Retired fisherman Roger Bartlett said Tiki had “split open like a hard-boiled egg” and was beyond salvaging. During a flood in the same location in 1980, Tiki had been the only boat not swept out to sea. >click to read< 12:42