A $68 million investment in commercial fishing vessels in New Zealand will be good news for the future of recreational fishing.
The money will fund on-board cameras on up to 300 commercial boats to provide transparency about their catches and support sustainability. The move is part of the New Zealand Government’s commitment, made at the 2020 election, to protect the natural environment with a wider roll-out of the cameras over the next four years. It will tighten and simplify rules around which fish should be landed and which returned to the sea.
“New Zealand’s marine ecosystems contain many species that are found nowhere else in the world. It’s imperative that we improve the data we gather, and more effectively measure how many fish are caught, to ensure more sustainable and environmental fisheries for future generations,” said Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker.
“On-board cameras will provide independent, accurate information about commercial fishing activity, providing greater certainty and more evidence on which to base decisions about policy and regulation, scientific research and fisheries management.”
The roll-out will be staged to prioritise those vessels that pose the greatest risk to protected species. When all the cameras are in place they will record activity on vessels responsible for about 85% of the inshore catch by volume.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries Rino Tirikatene said: “The announcement is all about us being good kaitiaki (guardians) for our oceans, ensuring their sustainability for generations to come.”