From 1 October 2013, the Ministry for Primary Industries will be introducing a new destination type reporting code, to be used when fish are returned to, or abandoned in, the sea under section 72(5)(c) of the Fisheries Act. Section 72(5)(c) provides for the return of fish to the sea where:
- a Fishery Officer or Observer was present when the fish, aquatic life, or seaweed was taken; and
- the Fishery Officer or Observer authrorised the return or abandonment of the fish, aquatic life, or seaweed; and
- the commercial fisher returned or abandoned the fish, aquatic life, or seaweed under the supervision of the Fishery Officer or Observer, and complied with any directions of the Fishery Officer or Observer; and
- the amount of fish, aquatic life, or seaweed was included in the returns for the appropriate period that are required to be made by the commercial fisher under the Fisheries Act.
Where fish is returned to the sea under the authorisation of an Observer or Fishery Officer (commonly known as an Observer Authorised Discard), the destination type code reported on landing returns (e.g. CLR, CELR, NCELR, etc...) should now be completed as 'J' rather then 'A' (or 'D'). As the code is reported on landing returns, it should be included on Monthly Harvest Returns and will be counted against a fisher's ACE.
For any questions, please contact Dave Foster, MPI Fisheries Analyst on (04) 819 4209.