13 May 2013

Fisheries conference to discuss reflagging

7:02 am on 13 May 2013

The impact of the reflagging of foreign charter fishing vessels will be examined during a Maori fisheries conference this week in Auckland.

Under the Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters Bill, all foreign fishing boats operating in New Zealand waters will have to be reflagged from 2016, giving this country total control over their activities.

Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Maori Fisheries Trust, is a half owner of Sealord which uses some foreign charter vessels to catch fish quota.

It estimates the impact of reflagging could result in a financial loss of $10 million a year to iwi fishing income.

Te Ohu Kaimoana chief executive Peter Douglas says they'll be discussing a way forward as reflagging will make it difficult for Maori fishing interests to catch bulk low-value export fish profitably.

He says other issues at the conference include the challenges of Maori Fisheries Trust businesses operating in Australia.