MPI brings in long-range vessel for fishery patrols

SUSTAINABLE KAIMOANA: Kaumatua Taina Ngarimu (centre) performed karakia for the new Ministry for Primary Industries Gisborne office’s fisheries compliance vessel Te Haeata, New Dawn. MPI’s acting team manager for mid-central North Island Adam Plumstead and director-general Martyn Dunne were there for the ceremony. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

THE Ministry for Primary Industries has a new $340,000 tool in its fight against illegal fishing on the East Coast.

A 7.5 metre Picton-built Naiad fishing compliance vessel will be used to conduct all enforcement activities at sea, including recreational and commercial patrols from the East Cape to Mahia.

Acting team manager for fisheries compliance in the mid-central North Island Adam Plumstead said the new boat, named Te Haeata (“New Dawn”), increased capability significantly.

“This vessel has a far greater range, allowing us to go further, uninterrupted, than we have gone before.”

Courtesy of a larger fuel tank, Te Haeata can travel 400 kilometres before needing to refuel, with a top speed of 83 kilometres an hour.

State of the art safety, electronics, and radar will allow officers to track vessels at sea further out than they can currently.

“It will also be used to partake in multi-agency activities, including protecting marine reserves with the Department of Conservation and Gisborne District Council’s oil spill response,” Mr Plumstead said.

The new vessel replaced one that was decommissioned after coming to the end of its working life.

High non-compliance

The East Coast region experiences some of the highest levels of non-compliance in the country, especially the rock lobster fishery, with an estimated 89 tonnes caught illegally each year.

“It is a problem here, but it is a problem everywhere,” Mr Plumstead said.

He said a recent compliance operation showed variable results.

“It was quite poor in some areas, while other areas had 100 percent compliance.

“Sustainable fisheries are important from the commercial side, to generate money and jobs, and to the public, as a lot of New Zealanders value their ability to go out and catch a feed for their family.”

MPI director-general Martyn Dunne said the new vessel would enable officers to boost compliance monitoring.

“We are well aware of the issues here on the East Coast. Generally, most people are law-abiding, but there are always some that stretch the law.”

MPI was conducting a policy review of the future of New Zealand’s fisheries, including looking at digital monitoring and other innovations to reduce bycatch.

“There will be a range of policy options, so fish stocks can be sustained for future generations.

“The new government has made it clear it will do what it needs to do to implement those things into law and practice.”

Ngati Porou kaumatua Taina Ngarimu performed karakia to bless the new boat.

The 77-year-old grew up at Whareponga, near Ruatoria, and caught his first fish when he was eight.

“I have been diving and fishing all my life. Growing up, the kaumatua taught us about preserving kaimoana.

“We are not the only ones on this earth, and there will be future generations long after us.”

Illegal fishing would always be around as long as there were criminals, he said.

“Until we solve our criminal element, we will always need to police their activities. We need to get on board and help in this area, support MPI with what they are doing.

“Our practice is to only take as much as we need, no more. The sea is our fridge and we can always get fresh kaimoana if we look after it.”

THE Ministry for Primary Industries has a new $340,000 tool in its fight against illegal fishing on the East Coast.

A 7.5 metre Picton-built Naiad fishing compliance vessel will be used to conduct all enforcement activities at sea, including recreational and commercial patrols from the East Cape to Mahia.

Acting team manager for fisheries compliance in the mid-central North Island Adam Plumstead said the new boat, named Te Haeata (“New Dawn”), increased capability significantly.

“This vessel has a far greater range, allowing us to go further, uninterrupted, than we have gone before.”

Courtesy of a larger fuel tank, Te Haeata can travel 400 kilometres before needing to refuel, with a top speed of 83 kilometres an hour.

State of the art safety, electronics, and radar will allow officers to track vessels at sea further out than they can currently.

“It will also be used to partake in multi-agency activities, including protecting marine reserves with the Department of Conservation and Gisborne District Council’s oil spill response,” Mr Plumstead said.

The new vessel replaced one that was decommissioned after coming to the end of its working life.

High non-compliance

The East Coast region experiences some of the highest levels of non-compliance in the country, especially the rock lobster fishery, with an estimated 89 tonnes caught illegally each year.

“It is a problem here, but it is a problem everywhere,” Mr Plumstead said.

He said a recent compliance operation showed variable results.

“It was quite poor in some areas, while other areas had 100 percent compliance.

“Sustainable fisheries are important from the commercial side, to generate money and jobs, and to the public, as a lot of New Zealanders value their ability to go out and catch a feed for their family.”

MPI director-general Martyn Dunne said the new vessel would enable officers to boost compliance monitoring.

“We are well aware of the issues here on the East Coast. Generally, most people are law-abiding, but there are always some that stretch the law.”

MPI was conducting a policy review of the future of New Zealand’s fisheries, including looking at digital monitoring and other innovations to reduce bycatch.

“There will be a range of policy options, so fish stocks can be sustained for future generations.

“The new government has made it clear it will do what it needs to do to implement those things into law and practice.”

Ngati Porou kaumatua Taina Ngarimu performed karakia to bless the new boat.

The 77-year-old grew up at Whareponga, near Ruatoria, and caught his first fish when he was eight.

“I have been diving and fishing all my life. Growing up, the kaumatua taught us about preserving kaimoana.

“We are not the only ones on this earth, and there will be future generations long after us.”

Illegal fishing would always be around as long as there were criminals, he said.

“Until we solve our criminal element, we will always need to police their activities. We need to get on board and help in this area, support MPI with what they are doing.

“Our practice is to only take as much as we need, no more. The sea is our fridge and we can always get fresh kaimoana if we look after it.”

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