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New monitoring programme for Snapper 1 fishing vessels

Hon Nathan Guy
Minister for Primary Industries

26 November 2013

New monitoring programme for Snapper 1 fishing vessels

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has welcomed confirmation that 25% of the Snapper 1 trawl fleet will have cameras or observers in place by 1 December this year.

“This will be the start of a large scale monitoring programme of the Snapper 1 fishery, providing us with more information on this very valuable resource.

“It is one of the key initiatives I announced in September this year to ensure the stock is well looked after for future generations. This is New Zealand’s most valuable shared fishery and we all need to work together to improve its health.”

Mr Guy today visited a commercial vessel in Auckland that has been fitted with the new camera technology to see it in action.

The monitoring programme will initially cover 25% of the commercial trawl fleet, expanding to 50% of the fleet by 1 October 2014 and all of the fleet by 1 October 2015.

“This programme will provide greater information on the total commercial catch, particularly on the numbers of small snapper being caught and the size, age, location and timing of commercial catch generally.

“The information will provide the public and recreational fishers with greater reassurance that commercial fishers are following the rules. In general most are, but it will now be much tougher to break the law and get away with it.

“I’m very pleased that the fishing industry are also developing a ‘move on’ rule where fishers will have to move on from a fishing spot if too many juvenile fish are being caught.”

Work is also underway on introducing mandatory vessel monitoring systems on all commercial vessels by 1 October 2014, and a $7 million scientific tagging survey will be introduced by 1 October 2014.

“I want to thank the fishing industry for their support and willingness to work with officials to get these programmes up and running.”

Members of the new Snapper 1 Strategy Group will soon be announced, who will develop a long-term plan to manage the fishery.

Sir Ian Barker has been appointed to Chair the group and there will be seven members in total, with two each representing the commercial, recreational, and customary sectors. The intention is this group will have its first meeting before Christmas.

“I’m very pleased with the progress that has been made so far. I deliberately set an ambitious timetable of action and it’s great we have been able to stick to it,” says Mr Guy.

ENDS

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