18 Oct 2011

Fishing company against foreign charter vessels

9:05 am on 18 October 2011

A major fishing company and quota owner says foreign charter vessels should not be operating in New Zealand waters.

Public hearings on submissions to the ministerial inquiry into the use of foreign flagged ships operating in New Zealand's exclusive economic zone began on Monday.

Talley's, the only major company not using foreign charter vessels, says the ships have been operating for about 34 years and were supposed to be a stepping stone until the industry could survive on its own - which Talley's says it now can.

The Maritime Union agrees. It said on Monday it wants fisheries regulations completely overhauled.

Talleys will present its submission at a hearing in Nelson later this month.

But he Seafood Industry Council said on Monday a loss of foreign charter vessels could lead to fewer fish being caught and quota values to drop.

After more public hearings in Auckland and Christchurch, the panel is expected to submit its findings and recommendations to the Government by February.

More on whether New Zealand is developing its deepsea fishery to its full potential can be heard on Insight on Sunday.