Fisheries New Zealand have announced that from 1 November 2019, on-board cameras will be required on commercial fishing vessels in New Zealand that have the highest chance of coming in contact with Māui dolphins.
This affects 2 types of vessels that fish the inshore area off the west coast of the North Island:
- trawlers that are under 29 metres
- set netting vessels of 8 metres or more.
The rollout is driven by the need for more accurate information about any fishing interactions with Māui dolphins, which are critically endangered. It will help ensure that measures to protect this fragile population are effective.
This rollout of on-board cameras will allow time to refine systems and processes before consideration is given to expanding the camera programme across more of the commercial fishing fleet. In the meantime, the regulations for on-board cameras are being changed to a revised date of 1 November 2019.
The government will cover the cost of on-board cameras for vessels affected in this first stage.
For more information see the Fisheries New Zealand website.
For the Minister's press release, click here.