Update – 23 November 2018
Changes have been made to the system since this media release was issued. Our digital monitoring web page has up-to-date information.
Regulations for the digital monitoring of commercial fishing activity were gazetted today, bringing in important changes to how commercial fishing activity is monitored and reported.
Digital monitoring is made up of 3 systems – geospatial position reporting (GPR), catch reporting via e-logbooks, and cameras. These systems will provide MPI with quicker and more accurate information about commercial fishing activity, which will allow for more agile and responsive fisheries management decisions.
All trawl vessels 28 metres and over will operate under the GPR and e-logbook requirements from 1 October this year, representing over 70% of commercial catch by volume. All other permit holders will transition to the new systems over a 6-month period through to 1 April 2018. All commercial fishers must be fully compliant for activity starting on or after 1 April.
Cameras will be phased in across the commercial fleet from 1 October 2018, with all commercial vessels to have cameras by 1 April 2020. This will provide MPI with the ability to verify reporting, which until now has been difficult without on-board observers, and is also expected to act as a significant deterrent to illegal behaviour.
All commercial fishing permit holders will be required to use the GPR and e-logbooks systems, with no exceptions. Vessels used exclusively for hand-gathering and diving, and tenders used solely for purse-seining, are excluded from the requirement to use cameras.
Consultation with Māori and industry on the specifications of the new systems, and how they will operate on vessels are ongoing.