What you need to know
Trawling is a long-established commercial fishing method. It provides a cost-effective way to catch fish. Commercial fishing law includes restrictions on the use and design of trawl nets. For example:
- there are restrictions on what net mesh size is allowed
- some structural features (such as net sleeves, liners, and flappers) are banned.
Commercial fishers who want to use a new kind of trawl net can apply to us for approval to trial it.
New types of nets must meet criteria
We'll only approve the use of a new type if we're satisfied that it performs at least as well as an existing net, in providing for the utilisation of fisheries resources while ensuring sustainability. The way fishers use the new net must also be consistent with any relevant fisheries plans.
To ensure we’re satisfied that the net performs at least as well as an existing net, Fisheries New Zealand will assess how the net compares with an existing net for:
- species composition
- size composition
- impact on protected species
- impact on benthic species.
How to apply
Follow these steps for getting approval to trial and use new trawl gear.