Commercial fishers in Southland are demanding the Ministry for Primary Industries halt its push to put surveillance technology on all boats.
The new regulations involve putting cameras and GPS on all 1200 commercial fishing boats.
MPI said the regulations would stop lawbreaking, such as illegal dumping of fish.
Ministry officials faced opposition from about 50 locals in Invercargill yesterday after it put out papers explaining the surveillance rules fishermen will be subject to.
A spokesperson for the commercial fishers, Bill Chisholm, said the ministry was rushing through the change, so it was likely to be poorly planned.
He said a private company would manage the system and there were major concerns a failure of the technology could force fishing to halt.