Greater fisheries protection with Project Protector
“The new Project Protector fleet will allow New Zealand to more effectively patrol the fisheries in our Exclusive Economic Zone, which at 4.4 million square kilometres is one of the largest in the world,” Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said, welcoming the arrival today into Lyttelton of the multi-role vessel ‘Canterbury’, which is the first of the Project Protector fleet.
There are six more vessels to come to complete the Navy part of the Project Protector package − four 55 metre inshore patrol vessels, ‘Rotoiti’, ‘Hawea’, ‘Pukaki’ and ‘Taupo’, and two 85 metre offshore patrol vessels, ‘Otago’ and ‘Wellington’.
“Project Protector will provide extra protection for the sustainability of New Zealand’s valuable fisheries,“Jim Anderton said. “And while the ‘Canterbury’ is unlikely to be used often for patrolling fisheries, the six ships still to come will greatly increase the ability to patrol deepwater and remote coastal fisheries.
“Fishing is a way of life for many New Zealanders and a key economic driver for many coastal towns. Wild-catch fisheries have an export value of over a billion dollars a year, not to mention the money generated supplying the fishing industry and the recreational sector. So protecting those fishing opportunities and returns through sustainable management and patrolling is an extremely important role.”
Jim Anderton said the new inshore and offshore patrol vessels working in conjunction with surveillance activity from the Airforce’s upgraded P3 Orions will make it much more difficult for boats to flout fisheries rules at sea.
“New Zealanders can have great confidence in this extra protection. In the past there has been the opportunity to offend in isolated places. We will now have the ability to get to all parts of the coastline, day or night.
“Those playing by the rules should be greatly comforted. Those playing against the rules should be warned that their illegal fishing days are numbered,” Jim Anderton said.
- The Territorial sea and EEZ covers 4.4million square kilometres – from the tropics to the sub-Antarctic and within this lies a rich and complex seascape with a great variety of marine habitats and life forms.
- New Zealand has 15,000 km of coastline.
- New Zealand has regional responsibilities for fisheries in large parts of the Pacific Ocean and southern waters, including the Ross Sea.
- Fisheries are an important customary resource for Maori.
- An estimated 20 percent of New Zealand’s population fish for food and fun.