29 June 2018
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) inspected 11 commercial vessels fishing for hoki during recent joint patrols on the west coast of the South Island.
“It was a successful operation and we would have covered more ground had the weather not deteriorated,” Lieutenant Troy Gorden, the Commanding Officer of inshore patrol vessel HMNZS Hawea, said.
Poor weather cut short the patrol by three days.
Steve Ham, MPI’s Acting Fisheries Compliance Manager, said a boarding team comprising crew members of Hawea and MPI fishery officers boarded the vessels as part of the ongoing monitoring of compliance within the fishery.
“Inspecting at sea is a fundamental core function for MPI fishery officers. All the information collected during the inspections will now be analysed by MPI to ensure compliance,” Mr Ham said.
“Our compliance patrols with the NZDF will also continue. Vigilance is important in ensuring the deterrent effect from the patrols is sustained.”
The NZDF regularly deploys its aircraft and vessels to conduct maritime surveillance patrols in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone and in the South West Pacific in support of MPI and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.