New Zealand takes action to combat illegal fishing
29 June 2004
Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope has approved a National Plan of Action to combat illegal fishing both domestically and on the high seas.
"Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing has widespread environmental, social and economic consequences," said Mr Benson-Pope. "It adversely affects target species, such as patagonian toothfish, as well as the wider ecosystem. It also distorts competition and jeopardises the economic survival of those who fish legitimately."
New Zealand's plan to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing closely follows the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) International Plan of Action. It contains general measures targeted at all states, as well as measures targeted specifically at addressing issues relating to the trade in illegally caught seafood products.
"IUU fishing can seriously impair efforts to achieve sustainable fisheries and can ultimately lead to the collapse of a fishery," the minister said. "By distorting competition, IUU fishing also jeopardises the economic survival of those who fish legitimately.
"Because of their lower operating costs, IUU fishers gain an unjust economic advantage over legitimate fishers. The impacts of IUU fishing undermine international, regional and national efforts to effectively conserve and manage fish stocks and the impacts of fishing.
"The sustainability of global fisheries resources is one of the key environmental challenges that face the international community in the next decade.
"For this reason I have agreed to be a member of an International Ministerial Task Force on IUU fishing set up by the OECD Round Table for Sustainable Development to achieve political momentum and to drive International commitment for action.
New Zealand's National Plan of Action was tabled at the FAO meeting in Rome late last week. The Plan will also be published on the Ministry of Fisheries website at www.fish.govt.nz/current/iuu-fishing/ from today.
Contact: Pete Coleman (Press Secretary) (04) 471- 9685 or 021-811-003
The National Plan of Action includes:
New Zealand's NPOA-IUU confirms the direction New Zealand is taking on illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. New Zealand is acknowledged as a world leader in the sustainable management of its fisheries and uses a number of tools to control the activities of vessels fishing within New Zealand fisheries waters and New Zealand flagged vessels fishing on the high seas. These tools include:
- Fishing permit requirements
- Requirement to hold annual catch entitlement to cover all target and bycatch species caught, or alternatively, to pay deemed values
- Fishing permit and fishing vessel registers
- Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) requirements
- Vessel and gear marking requirements
- Fishing gear and method restrictions
- Observer Programme
- Reporting (including catch and effort reporting) requirements
- Vessel inspections
- Control of landings (e.g. requirement to land only to licensed fish receivers)
- Record keeping requirements
- Auditing of licensed fish receivers
- Monitored unloads of fish
- Information management and intelligence analysis
- Analysis of catch and effort reporting and comparison with VMS, observer, landing and trade data to confirm accuracy
- Boarding and inspection by fishery officers at sea
- Aerial and surface surveillance, and
- Any other measures agreed by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations to which New Zealand is a member, e.g. application of CCAMLR Catch Documentation Scheme for vessels catching toothfish