20 Aug 2015

Seafood industry backs legislation update

9:32 am on 20 August 2015

The national seafood industry body is backing a move to review fisheries legislation.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy told the seafood industry conference yesterday the government was about to embark on an operational review.

Mr Guy said New Zealand's quota management system was almost 30 years old, and the Fisheries Act almost 20 years old, so it was time to fresh up and improve them.

He said the review would not be getting into the details like bag limits and quotas and would not undermine existing rights, but could include changes to management processes, or legislation.

Seafood New Zealand chair George Clement said not everyone in the industry would agree on the details, but the Fisheries Act at least was due for an overhaul.

"Fundamentally, it's working really well and has been since it was brought in, but when it was introduced in 1986, we didn't have cellphones. Now we do.

"Technology's changed, so the operational reviews will bring the Act into 2015-16, and make the most of the efficiencies of modern digital technology, amongst other things we've learned in the meantime.

"We're now putting monitoring systems on our vessels so they can be monitored from a distance, via satellite, 24-7.

"There is a range of camera options going on boats, to better look at improved management practices and so on. So, the Act needs to have some fine tuning to enable these to come into effect."