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Submissions Invited on Foreign Charter Fishing Vessels

Media Release for Immediate Release

6 September 2011

Submissions Invited on Foreign Charter Fishing Vessels

All interested parties are invited to lodge written submissions with the Ministerial Panel inquiring into Foreign Charter Vessels fishing in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Advertisements outlining the written submission process will appear in major newspapers on Wednesday 7 September.

The Panel Chair, Paul Swain, said it was a wide-ranging inquiry and that it was important to get input from as many interested parties as possible.

“We will be reviewing New Zealand’s current policy and legislation as well as the economic return New Zealand is getting from our fishing resources,” Mr Swain said.

“Our principal focus will be on protecting New Zealand’s international reputation and trade access, maximising the economic return from our fisheries and ensuring safe and equitable conditions on board all fishing vessels operating within our Exclusive Economic Zone.”

Mr Swain said that the Inquiry Panel was planning to hold public hearings in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch in October. In addition, the Panel plans to visit fishing vessels.

Mr Swain said all parties making a submission would be given the option of appearing in person before the Panel.

“It is critical that we get all relevant information, including some that will be commercially sensitive. Although I expect most submissions to be released to the public, we will hear submitters in private if they so request. The Panel will endeavour to respect the confidentiality of information given to us in private, although submitters need to be aware that documents tabled with the Panel will still be subject to the provisions of the Official Information Act,” Mr Swain said.

Submissions close on Friday 7 October.

The Panel is due to report its findings and recommendations to the Ministers of Fisheries and Labour on 24 February 2012.

Further information about the Inquiry, including the Panel’s terms of reference, can be found at www.fish.govt.nz. Written submissions lodged with the panel will be placed on this website.

Panel Members: Paul Swain (Chair), Sarah McGrath and Neil Walter.

ENDS

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