New regulations will “revolutionise fisheries management”

New regulations gazetted on Thursday will require the use of geospatial position reporting (GPR), e-logbooks, and cameras across the commercial fishing industry. They will be rolled out from 1 October 2017.

Digital monitoring will give New Zealand the most transparent and accountable commercial fishery anywhere in the world, according to Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy. “This is going to revolutionise the way we make fisheries management decisions, and help ensure that we are protecting the sustainability of New Zealand’s fisheries”, he said.

Digital monitoring replaces the paper-based catch and effort reporting system for commercial fishing, which was too inefficient. Fishers will be required to provide more detailed information in their reporting and all data will be integrated by MPI so that what is reported can be compared to the GPR data and camera footage.

The first two stages of digital monitoring – GPR and catch reporting via new e-logbooks – will be brought in from 1 October this year, with cameras phased in to each fishery from 1 October 2018.

Trawl vessels 28 metres and over will be using the GPR and e-logbooks from 1 October, representing over 70 percent of the commercial catch volume. All other operators will have a 6-month period to install the new systems.

The industry is expected to achieve full implementation and compliance over a six-month period. By 1 April 2018 all fishing permit holders will be required to be fully compliant with the GPR and e-logbook systems.

Digital monitoring is part of the Future of our Fisheries programme, which is strengthening the fisheries management system and making it fit-for-the future. The programme also includes ongoing policy work to help ensure sustainable fisheries.

This year’s Budget included a boost of $30.5 million in funding over the next four years to support these improvements.

More information on this new system and the Future of our Fisheries programme is available at

Image credit: Freepik