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NZTech Submission on the Fisheries Amendment Bill 2022

NZTech wishes to thank the Primary Production Committee for the opportunity to submit on the Fisheries Amendment Bill 2022.

NZTech supports the Bill’s intent to make changes across several aspects of the fisheries management system, “to support a holistic, integrated approach to managing oceans and fisheries” and “to ensure commercial fishing is sustainable, productive and inclusive.” The proposed changes include:

  • tightening commercial fishing rules for landings, discards at sea, and disposal on land;
  • creating new rules and regulations for offences and penalties, including new infringement offences and a system of demerit points;
  • creating a new defence of releasing catch to save marine mammals and other protected species;
  • introducing a more streamlined and responsive mechanism for commercial and recreational management decision making; and
  • amending the Fisheries Act 1996 to enable the use of on‐board cameras to observe fishing activities that occur once the fish are brought onboard, including sorting, processing, and discarding of fish.

However, NZTech believes that the Bill needs to ensure that it does not contain barriers to the implementation of technology to achieve the bills intention, in particular noting technology’s pace of change.