Information for fishers during Alert Level 3

Under Level 3, all primary sector businesses and support services can operate, as long as they can operate safely.

This includes commercial fishers and aquaculture farmers as well as the services that supply them.

Safe work practices in Level 3

Some businesses will require an exemption. Information about permitted travel, and what is required, can be found on the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) website and will be updated regularly.

Business travel across Alert Level boundaries – MBIE 

Are there any rule changes to catch limits because of COVID-19?

All the rules to ensure sustainability - including catch limits and the wide range of other restrictions - remain in place and commercial fishers must adhere to them as usual.

Our fishery officers are still patrolling throughout New Zealand to protect our fisheries. They will do this in a way that keeps themselves and others safe.

You can call us on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) if you see anyone breaking the fishing rules.

Social distancing at work

During Alert Level 3 all workplaces should strive for social distancing of 1 metre.

Where 1 metre distancing cannot be reasonably maintained on vessels or barges or in processing facilities, in accordance with MOH advice, MPI expects that alternative measures be put in place.

Alternative ways of working to keep employees safe include shift-based working, staggered meal breaks, flexible leave arrangements and providing personal protective equipment.

It is necessary to follow basic hygiene measures to keep yourself and your co-workers from COVID-19. They are the most important way to stop the spread of infections.

Physical distancing - COVID-19  

Read more on social distancing rules for this Alert Level - COVID-19

If everyone that works on my vessel (or farm barge) is in my bubble, do we need to observe social distancing at work?

If your crew are already in your bubble, for instance if they are part of your family who you live with, you can maintain a normal distance from them on your vessel or barge as you would at home.

Self-isolation for close contacts

Anyone who has been identified as a close contact of a suspect or confirmed case will be required to self-isolate, report to their manager, and to not come to work for 14 days.

This includes staff who have returned to reside in a region at a lower Alert Level.

Self isolation for close contacts- Ministry of Health

Fishing recreationally

Recreational and other non-commercial fishing can be undertaken using hand-gathering methods in shallow water or fishing from shore or wharves only.

The most important principles here are to:

  • stay close to home
  • stay 2 metres away from people not in your bubble
  • avoid activities that could get you hurt and require medical care or rescuing (putting essential workers at risk). This means people should not be fishing from rocks or fishing from a boat (boating is not allowed).
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