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Fishermen in Uproar Over IEMRS Regulations

Fishermen in Uproar Over IEMRS Regulations

Invercargill commercial fishermen have recommended that MPI immediately halt and review the implementation of their IEMRS. The meeting described Minister Nathan Guy’s rushed approach to IEMRS as “unworkable, excessive and possibly unlawful”. In addition, the meeting recommended the Ministry address the unintended consequences of this process, remove the blanket edicts which permeate the regulations and get serious about taking a collaborative approach with Industry representatives.

The meeting’s spokesman, Bill Chisholm, said that fishermen had supported IEMRS in good faith, as it has the potential to provide better data for fisheries management. However, the whole thing had degenerated into a series of unworkable proposals based on the Ministry’s unilateral, rushed approach. With this comes uncertainty, high costs and low probability of success.

“The potential for outages and cost overruns alone is massive, especially as the Ministry has duck shoved accountability for running the IEMRS platform to private providers” Mr Chisholm said. “This means that if the system goes down, we can’t go fishing. Imagine how that will work when the expected Novopay-like outages occur. The Regulations place all the accountability on private companies and fishermen, and none on the Ministry officials who’ve dreamed up this mess.”

The meeting recommended that the IEMRS project be immediately halted, and a full scientific and management review undertaken. The review should take into account the real data needs for improving fishery management without the unintended consequences such as fishermen going broke and more expensive fish in the shops. Legal issues relating to privacy, Intellectual Property protection and outage management also need to be dealt with. Mr Chisholm explained “We want to get this right first time, and not be beholden to unaccountable bureaucrats running their own agenda. All we ask is that the Ministry genuinely works with us within reasonable time frames, so we can get this project right.”


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