Exemptions from electronic catch or position reporting

Commercial fishers can apply for an exemption from electronic catch or position reporting requirements if they can show that they're unable to meet them. Find out about exemptions and how to apply.

How to apply

To apply for an exemption, download and complete this form:

Application for exemption from electronic catch and position reporting regulations [DOCX, 95 KB]

Information about exemptions and the approval process is in the form and on this web page.


Before you apply, check if you're likely to be eligible

You can get an exemption only if you meet certain criteria. The criteria are in the regulations for electronic catch reporting and electronic position reporting. You must comply with the relevant regulations until your exemption has been granted.

Exemptions are granted for limited time periods, to cover your specific situation. Some examples of possible reasons are in the application form.

Exemptions from electronic catch reporting

You can apply for an exemption from electronic catch reporting requirements if you can show that complying with them would cause undue hardship or be unrealistic. For example:

  • reporting technology that supports your fishing method (or which isn't durable enough), isn't available yet
  • your order has been delayed.

Your request can also relate to a specific aspect of electronic catch reporting, such as:

  • the time required to electronically record fishing event reports
  • the time required to provide or transmit your fishing event reports.

Exemptions from electronic position reporting

You can apply for an exemption from electronic position reporting requirements if you can show that complying with them is unreasonable or impracticable. For example:

  • your order for a position reporting device has been delayed
  • an e-logbook that's suitable for your fishing method will include built-in position reporting, but isn't available to purchase yet.

Your request can also relate to a specific aspect of electronic position reporting, such as:

  • recording position reports while fishing
  • frequency for providing or transmitting positions.

Costs of electronic reporting do not qualify for an exemption

Cost is not an acceptable reason for being unable to meet the electronic catch or position reporting requirements. The government considered costs to industry when making the policy decisions and regulations to implement electronic reporting in 2017. It concluded that the benefits of electronic reporting outweighed the costs to industry.

Completing the exemption form

In your application, you must provide:

  • details for you and your fishing vessel (if you have one)
  • details about your intended fishing activities during the exemption period
  • a clear reason why you can't provide electronic catch and/or position reports
  • a start date and end date for your requested exemption period
  • evidence to support your request.

Types of evidence

Evidence to support your application may include independently verified information, such as photos of your fishing vessel, and statements from:

  • a technology provider
  • a chartered accountant
  • a medical doctor
  • Inland Revenue.

If you provide good evidence and clear reasoning for your request, it will help us make the best decision, as quickly as possible.

Sending your application

Email your completed application and supporting evidence to digitalmonitoring@mpi.govt.nz

Or post it to:

Digital Monitoring
Fisheries New Zealand
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140.

Processing times

  • We will acknowledge receipt of your application within 1 working day.
  • We aim to process exemption requests within 20 working days. This is an estimated timeframe and some exemptions may take longer to process. 

If your exemption is granted

If your exemption is granted, you'll still need to provide the relevant reporting information, using a method which we will determine with you as part of the application process. One method of reporting could include recording the relevant information on paper, and later providing:

  • catch details through your online FishServe account
  • position information to us electronically in a spreadsheet.

If your technology fails

If your electronic catch or position reporting technology isn't working during a fishing trip, contact your technology provider so they can try to fix the problem.

If you don't think you'll be able to meet your electronic catch or position reporting requirements, contact MPI by:

Check what’s required when reporting a technology failure [PDF, 563 KB]

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