Charter fishing boat operators

All amateur-fishing charter vessel operators must register before they can run trips. Find out how to register, report, and get the forms you need.

Registering as a charter fishing boat operator

Amateur-fishing charter vessel operators must:

  • register with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) before they can run trips
  • provide reports on their fishing trips after they're registered.

The reports cover what was caught when they had fare-paying passengers on board.

Registering and reporting ensures that:

  • operators can be contacted
  • their interests are taken into account during fisheries management decisions.

FINNZ (FishServe Innovations New Zealand) runs the registration and reporting system for Fisheries New Zealand. FINNZ is a New Zealand company that provides business analysis services.

FINNZ

Who has to register?

If you take people fishing and payment is made for the vessel and guide services, you must register. Payment could be for being on the vessel, or for guide services.

Ferries and tourist sightseeing boats don't have to register, because their passengers don't fish.

How to register

You can either register manually or apply to do it online.

  • If you register manually, then you'll have to report all future information manually.
  • If you register for online, then you'll have to report all future information online.

You need to re-register each year for both methods.

Find out how to re-register

Registration costs

  • Registering and re-registering online costs $27 (GST included).
  • Registering and re-registering manually costs $54 (GST included).

1. Register as an operator providing information online

To register online and report your information online, download and complete Form 1. Your application must be a paper copy that you send, but after that you can report everything online.

When you first register, you provide only the details for the operator and approved user. After you've registered, you can then create contacts online for any:

  • skippers
  • guides
  • other people and vessels that are operating.

Form 1: Application to register as an amateur-fishing charter vessel operator – online [PDF, 179 KB]

Sending your completed application form

Email your printed, completed form to charteroperator@finnz.com

Or, you can mail it to:

FINNZ
PO Box 24 441
Manners Street
Wellington 6140.

You must pay an application fee of $27 (GST included). You can freephone the amateur-fishing charter vessel (ACV) helpline on 0800 42 28 43 for information on payment options.

After you've been approved, you'll receive:

  • a secure login to the online system
  • instructions on how to report fishing information online.

As well as reporting, you can use the online system to notify any changes, and to re-register.

Amateur-Fishing Charter System login

2. Register as an operator providing information manually

If you don't want to (or can't) use the online system, download and complete Form 2 to register to use the paper-based system.

You'll need to complete and submit details for:

  • an operator
  • approved users
  • all contact people
  • all skippers
  • all guides
  • all vessels that are part of your operator listing.

Sending your completed application form

Print the form, complete it, and post it to:

FINNZ
PO Box 24 441
Manners Street
Wellington 6140.

You must pay an application fee of $54 (GST included). Freephone the ACV helpline on 0800 42 28 43 for information on payment options.

Once you're registered

Once registered, you'll be sent:

  • a vessel listing notification (VLN) which you need to display on each vessel that's operating
  • a book of reporting forms.

How to re-register

You need to re-register each year to keep the register and your details up to date.

  • Re-registering online costs $27.
  • Re-registering manually costs $54.

Online re-registration

You need to log in first.

Log in to the Amateur-Fishing Charter System to re-register online

Manual re-registration

You need to log in to access this form.

Download the form to manually re-register

How to report

The reporting form you need to complete is called the Amateur-Fishing Charter Vessel – Activity Catch Return (ACV-ACR) form. Detailed instructions on how to complete it are sent for each vessel. We also have a guide available.

A guide to Amateur-Fishing Charter Vessel – Activity Catch Return [PDF, 586 KB]

ACV-ACR (Amateur Fishing Charter Vessel Activity Catch Return) [PDF, 394 KB]

If you ever need more reporting forms, you can use the form in the guide, or email charteroperator@finnz.com

If you are registered to use the online system, you complete the reports online.

Why operators need to report, and what it helps with

As fishing activity increases, we need to ensure it stays sustainable. We collect information on charter vessel fishing to:

  • better understand how many fish are being caught, so that we can set sustainable limits
  • maintain and increase public confidence in our ability to manage fisheries effectively
  • meet New Zealand's international obligations – especially for the 2 species of bluefin tuna that we manage
  • assess the effects of events or management proposals – like when a ship runs aground or a spatial plan is developed
  • manage shared inshore fisheries through targeted information about key shared species
  • detect fishing patterns that might signal important changes in fisheries (like fewer fish being caught in an area).

Forms for charter boat operators 

Rules and regulations for amateur fishing charter vessel operators

Fisheries (Amateur-Fishing) Regulations 2013 – New Zealand Legislation

Fisheries (Amateur-fishing Charter Vessel Reporting) Notice 2020 – New Zealand Gazette

Fact sheet

Amateur-fishing charter vessels [PDF, 275 KB]

Who to contact

For advice on amateur-fishing charter vessel activity and catch returns, call 0800 4 ACV HELP (0800 42 28 43) or write to FINNZ:

PO Box 24 441
Manners Street
Wellington 6140

If you want to contact MPI about the information on this page, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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