3 Jul 2014

Surveillance technology no panacea for illegal Pacific fishing

5:03 pm on 3 July 2014

A manager in New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries says new surveillance technology is not the best way to stop illegal fishing.

As concerns grow for illegal, unreported and unregistered fishing, New Zealand's Pacific Economic Ambassador, Shane Jones, says New Zealand stands ready to provide its expertise in surveillance.

But Gary Orr, a compliance manager in the Ministry of Primary Industries, says future technology like satellites and drones have their place but they are expensive options, and won't solve the problem.

"The best way to combat IUU fishing is not through technology, it's around strong port state measures. When these vessels come into port to bunker and unload their fish, strong compliance regimes there where we inspect and assure ourselves that the fish has been caught legitimately."

Gary Orr says New Zealand will soon sign the Niue Treaty on Cooperation - a document which will help countries to share information better.