6 Jun 2016

NZ Navy vessel departs for Pacific fisheries patrol

7:34 pm on 6 June 2016
Front of the HMNZS Otago.

The HMNZS Otago. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

New Zealand has sent a ship to the Pacific for a two-month patrol to detect illegal fishing.

The mission is also a means of deterring unregulated and unreported fishing activity, on behalf of several Pacific island countries.

The HMNZS Otago will also make diplomatic port visits to Fiji, Tuvalu, Samoa and Tonga.

New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries' compliance manager Gary Orr says overfishing of tuna affects Pacific countries and the mission is aimed at improving compliance to laws and regulations.

Last month, the ministry caved in to public pressure to review its own fishery after a leaked report revealed mass fish dumping in New Zealand waters.

The report said the number of fish caught in New Zealand waters has been under-reported for six decades, with the true catch nearly three times official figures.