11 Nov 2011

Sealord using observers on some fishing vessels

7:15 pm on 11 November 2011

Fishing company Sealord says the negative publicity surrounding foreign charter vessels has prompted it to employ company observers aboard some of its trawlers

A ministerial inquiry has been looking in to widespread allegations of physical and mental abuse aboard some foreign charter fishing vessels operating in New Zealand waters.

Sealord - which is half-owned by Maori interests - says it now has a company representative aboard each of its three Ukrainian vessels.

Sealord's general manager of fishing Doug Paulin says it's a case of reassuring consumers that fishing carried out by its foreign charter vessels is done according to New Zealand fishing and labour laws.

Mr Paulin says the Sealord employee works independently of Ministry of Fisheries observers who are also stationed on fishing boats.

The report on the ministerial inquiry into the use of foreign charter vessels is expected in February.