New Fisheries Patrol Vessel Launched
7 October 2003
The Ministry of Fisheries in Christchurch has taken delivery of a new patrol vessel.
'Rehutai', which means 'sea mist', is a six metre Stabi-craft which has been purpose- built for Ministry operations with adaptions including increased stability and a large cushioned buffer which allows easier boarding of fishing vessels at sea.
Canterbury District Compliance Manager, John Slaughter says he is pleased with the vessel and is eager to see it put through its paces.
"We are taking the vessel out today from the Lyttelton boat ramp and intend to trial it before commencing patrols."
"The vessel will be used mainly to patrol the Banks Peninsula, North Canterbury and Kaikoura areas, but some consideration will be given to the West Coast as well, depending on demand," Mr Slaughter said. "Although we have had access to other vessels previously, 'Rehutai' offers greater reliability and all round potential for many different jobs; something that has been limited in the past.
The vessel will be used by fisheries surveillance officers for both recreational and inshore commercial fishing patrols, to observe fishing practices, inspect catches at sea, and check fishing gear.
"Two key areas of focus will be the set net ban areas off the Canterbury coast and illegal rock lobster pots. Both these issues have been of concern recently. The use of the patrol vessel offers us another dimension in ensuring compliance with Fisheries legislation."
"Although the vessel will not be patrolling the coast on a full-time basis, it is expected to be well utilised over the summer months and will provide an effective deterrent to offending," Mr Slaughter concluded.