18 Nov 2011

Trawler tension prompts meeting of southern fishermen

1:41 pm on 18 November 2011

Southern fishermen have called a meeting to try to defuse growing tensions about larger trawlers coming in from outside the region.

The meeting - to be held at 4pm in Bluff - is expected to involve at least a dozen fishermen from Dunedin to Riverton and a Government representative.

Port Chalmers Fishermen's Co-operative president Ant Smith says large trawling boats have been operating in the Southland fishery, reducing the catch of local fishermen.

Mr Smith says that has created problems with in-shore fishermen who are worried about protecting their patch.

He says the Dunedin-based cooperative is attending the meeting because the problem could spread up the coast to Otago.

Other fishing industry sources say they believe the conflict is mainly about communication and should be able to be resolved locally.