NZ plays important part in international fishing sting
23 November 2011
MAF reported today that following a New Zealand surveillance flight, a foreign vessel spotted fishing contrary to international rules north of New Zealand has now left the area.
The Curacao-flagged Millennium was twice seen in June in international waters beyond our Exclusive Economic Zone catching deepwater sharks with gill nets.
The use of deepwater gill nets was banned in the area under interim measures agreed in February 2010 during negotiations to establish the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO).
New Zealand is an active participant in SPRFMO and high seas patrols are an important part of our contribution towards stopping illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.
Manager International Jane Willing said an encouraging aspect of this case was that Curacao, an island in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela, took action despite not being a party to SPRFMO.
“The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade wrote to the Curacao authorities pointing out the errors of its vessel’s ways under international law and invited them to cease and desist.
“The Curacao Ministry of Economic Development got straight on the case and directed the vessel to stop its fishing activities in the area. This duly happened and the vessel has left the Pacific.”
Ms Willing said this was another example of inter-agency cooperation leading to a good result. “New Zealand performs well with its international contribution to fisheries management and compliance, and it was very reassuring to see this positive outcome from our efforts. It is particularly pleasing to see this happening when SPRFMO is still in its infancy.”
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