20 May 2010

New seafood monitoring programme considered

8:29 pm on 20 May 2010

A programme that protects seabirds and untargeted fish in Alaska from being caught by fishing vessels may be trialled in this country.

Under the programme, every vessel in the Alaska Pollock Cod Fishery has officers on board monitoring its catch.

Detailed observation is expensive, but the fishery in Alaska hauls about a million tonnes a year and can afford the monitoring.

The chief scientist for New Zealand's Seafood Industry Council, David Middleton, says such observation is part of the long-term plan for deep-sea vessels in this country.

But inshore fishermen say it would not be feasible and some of them would favour surveillance cameras aboard vessels instead.