About 50 commercial fishing vessels were among 74 vessels inspected during joint patrols conducted recently by the New Zealand Defence Force and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
CAPTION: A fishery officer from New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries boards a commercial fishing vessel during joint patrols with the New Zealand Defence Force. NZDF photo.
The three-week operation involved Compliance staff from MPI, offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington and a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft.
Simon McDonald, Manager for Fisheries Compliance, Liaison and Coordination at MPI, said the operation targeted both inshore and deep-water fisheries and covered the Chatham Rise, the east coast of the South Island, Taranaki and the Marlborough Sounds.
“The main objective of the patrol was to detect any non-compliant fishing activity, in support of sustainable management of New Zealand’s fisheries resources,” he said.
The boarding team, comprised of Fishery Officers from MPI and crew members from Wellington, also inspected 21 recreational vessels and six amateur charter vessels.
Mr McDonald said the partnership between MPI and the NZDF continued to grow stronger with monitoring, control and surveillance of New Zealand’s domestic and international fisheries responsibilities.
“We look forward to continuing to work together to grow and protect our valuable resources,” he said.