Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Re-flagging foreign fishing vessels threat to quota value

Re-flagging foreign fishing vessels threat to quota value: govt report

By Paul McBeth

May 22 (BusinessDesk) - The value of New Zealand fishing quota could drop because of the government's decision to require foreign-flagged fishing vessels to register under the New Zealand flag within four years.

The new policy was announced today in response to the mistreatment and underpayment of crews working on some boats, which has also sparked an investigation by the Korean government of Korean-owned vessels.

Primary Industries Minister David Carter and Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson jointly said foreign-flagged vessels won't be able to operate legally after a four-year transition period in a move to put the ships under New Zealand labour and maritime law. That means a foreign-owned charter vessel will operate under local law and will need a responsible New Zealand operator to hire crew.

The decision goes beyond the recommendation of a ministerial inquiry headed by former Cabinet Minister Paul Swain, which advised restricting registration to vessels on demise charter. A demise charter is a ship leasing arrangement where the use of the entire vessel and all associated expenses pass from the owner to the lessee.

The report said reflagging was seen as the "cleanest and most comprehensive way of addressing the issue of flag and coastal State jurisdiction," by government officials, but held "uncertainties and risks" for the future of the foreign-owned fleet and the fishing industry in general.

"A number of firms and regional economies that depend heavily on the business generated by the FCV fleet could be adversely affected by the requirement to reflag," the report said. "Reflagging could also reduce the value of quota and the price of ACE (annual catch entitlement) if it resulted in a significant downsizing of the FCV fleet."

The inquiry was launched after 32 Indonesian crew aboard the Oyang 75 walked off the vessel, alleging abuse by the ship's Korean crew.

Carter said the reflagging will "further strengthen compliance with New Zealand laws" and improve transparency of foreign-owned vessels.

"The government continues to welcome foreign charter fishing vessels operating in New Zealand waters, but they must meet our requirements and our standards," he said.

Local fishing company Sanford said it was too early to assess the impact of the government's decision, which will also have to be considered by "current vessel owners to determine the effect and their willingness to allow the vessels to be reflagged."

The Swain-led panel's report said it would be difficult to predict the response to reflagging by foreign owners, or how quickly the local fleet would be able to fill any gap left by those who quit New Zealand.

"Many companies would regard a requirement to reflag to New Zealand as a disproportionate response to the problems and would clearly prefer that any decision to reflag be made by them on commercial grounds," the report said.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business:
NZ Puts Seven New Oil And Gas Areas Put Up For Tender

A total of seven new areas will be opened up to oil and gas exploration under its block offer tendering system, as the New Zealand government seeks to concentrate activity in a few strategically chosen areas. More>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Dairy Payouts Steady, Cash Will Be Tight

Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on strong cashflow management as they look ahead to the 2015-16 season following Fonterra's half-year results announcement today. More>>

ALSO:

First Union: Cotton On Plans To Use “Tea Break” Law

“The Prime Minister reassured New Zealanders that ‘post the passing of this law, will you all of a sudden find thousands of workers who are denied having a tea break? The answer is absolutely not’... Cotton On is proposing to remove tea and meal breaks for workers in its safety sensitive distribution centre. How long before other major chains try and follow suit?” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ-Korea FTA Signed Amid Spying, Lost Sovereignty Claims

A long-awaited free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea has been signed in Seoul by Prime Minister John Key and the Korean president, Park Geun-hye. More>>

ALSO:

PM Visit: NZ And Viet Nam Agree Ambitious Trade Target

New Zealand and Viet Nam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news