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


Float-free distress beacons compulsory for fishing vessels

Float-free distress beacons compulsory for fishing vessels

14 February 2018
‘Float-free’ distress beacons will soon become compulsory for commercial fishing vessels to improve safety in the sector.

Operators will need to install float-free EPIRBs on all applicable commercial fishing vessels by 1 January 2019, as one of five maritime rule changes to the Maritime Rules made recently by the Minister of Transport.

The new requirement was prompted by recommendations from Coroners and the Transport Accident and Investigation Commission, following the deaths of 24 people over the last 11 years on inshore fishing boats that sank. Float-free EPIRBs will automatically deploy and activate when submerged in water.

Maritime NZ General Manager Maritime Standards Sharyn Forsyth says crews in these incidents had manual EPIRBs on board, but were unable to activate them.

“We want to give people plenty of warning of the new requirement in the lead up to next January - we hope this notice period will assist operators who are replacing their old EPIRBs over the coming months. This new measure will save lives.”

The new rule was introduced following consultation, and applies to fishing vessels of between 7.5 metres and 24 metres operating outside enclosed waters (i.e. outside harbours, estuaries and other inland or sheltered waters).

New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen President Doug Saunders-Loder supports making float-free EPIRBs compulsory.

“This is a practical change that will make commercial fishing safer and help save lives - a core business and priority for our organisation,” he says.

Other changes to the Maritime Rules, that come into effect on 15 March 2018, remove outdated requirements, allow for new technology, and reduce compliance costs:

• Tugs - allow the use of current international stability criteria set by “classification societies” for towing operations.
• Fishing boats - allow more modern satellite search and rescue technology as an alternative to radar transponders on fishing vessels operating beyond 200 nautical miles from the coast.
• Fishing boats - remove the requirement for fishing boats operating in some areas to carry a radio with narrow-band direct printing. This is an old technology which has been replaced by modern radio systems in many countries, including New Zealand.
• Sailing vessels - allowing for modern design, and removing the requirement that manual bilge pumps must be operable from above the deck.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Budget Policy Statement: 'Wellbeing Of NZers At The Heart Of Budget Priorities'

“We want a wellbeing focus to drive the decisions we make about Government policies and Budget initiatives. This means looking beyond traditional measures - such as GDP - to a wider set of indicators of success,” Grant Robertson said. More>>


Short Of 2017 Record: Insurers Pay $226m Over Extreme Weather

Insurers have spent more than $226 million this year helping customers recover from extreme weather, according to data from the Insurance Council of NZ (ICNZ). More>>

Environment Commissioner: Transparent Overseer Needed To Regulate Water Quality

Overseer was originally developed as a farm management tool to calculate nutrient loss but is increasingly being used by councils in regulation... “Confidence in Overseer can only be improved by opening up its workings to greater scrutiny.” More>>


Deal Now Reached: Air NZ Workers Vote To Strike

Last week union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in response to the company’s low offer and requests for cuts to sick leave and overtime. More>>