New government support will enable on-board cameras to be rolled out further across the inshore fishing fleet.
“Wider use of on-board cameras will enhance New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of premium, sustainable, and trusted seafood,” said Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash.
“The Coalition Government has agreed to make funding available to advance the next phase of on-board cameras, to around 345 vessels."
Next steps in the rollout require the preparation of a detailed business case, public consultation, and the approval of new regulations. The proposal is as follows:
- Expand the on-board camera programme to around 345 inshore vessels by 2024, in two tranches.
- The first tranche would see cameras installed on around 165 fishing vessels in high risk areas. These include the habitats of Hector’s dolphins, Antipodean and Gibson’s Albatross, black petrels, and hoiho penguins.
- The second tranche proposes cameras on another 160 fishing vessels. These vessels fish in lower-risk areas but the protected species are still significant, such as fur seals, the common dolphin, flesh-footed shearwater, and Salvin’s albatross.
- Vessels covered by both tranches primarily use trawl, longline, set net, purse seine or Danish seine fishing methods.
- The cameras would cover all inshore areas where fishing poses significant risks to protected species. They would record activity on vessels responsible for about 84 per cent of the inshore catch, by weight.
- The capital and operating costs are difficult to assess, but are estimated to be around $40 to $60 million over four years. This would include research into new camera technology and digital monitoring developments.
For further information, please see the Beehive website for the Minister's announcement.