5 Jun 2020

Cameras on fishing boats further delayed

From Morning Report, 6:48 am on 5 June 2020

The introduction of cameras on commercial fishing boats has been delayed for 15 months, with no explanation. National introduced legislation requiring cameras that was finally passed a year and a half ago.

This has been repeatedly delayed by the Labour led coalition government, much to the consternation of environmentalists who say they represent the best chance of stopping rare seabirds and dolphins getting caught in fishing lines and nets.

They were supposed to be on board the boats from July the first, but on Tuesday a regulation was quietly introduced to parliament, pushing the date back to October, 2021.

Fisheries reporter Conan Young spoke to Greenpeace's Jessica Desmond.

In response to RNZ, a spokesperson for Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash released a statement saying the July 1 date and the new October 2021 date were just "holding dates" and that no change will be possible until the proposal is consulted on.

It says it will be a minimum of 15 months before the one thousand vessels targetted by this change are in a position to have cameras installed.

Seafood New Zealand, representing the fishing industry, has been approached for comment.