High seas fishing permit conditions

A high seas fishing permit lists the requirements you need to meet for fishing on the high seas. Find out some of the general requirements you can expect on a high seas fishing permit.


Requirements when fishing on the high seas

A high seas fishing permit provides general requirements for fishing on the high seas, as well as specific conditions for your planned fishing activities. Always read your permit carefully – the conditions can change from year to year.

General permit conditions

We've listed some of the general requirements that you'll need to meet under a high seas fishing permit.

1. Always carry the permit or a copy of it on board the vessel.
2. Notify MPI of your intention to:

  • leave port on a high seas trip
  • enter and exit from any exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or restricted area
  • enter port from a high seas trip
  • dispose of or receive fish by transhipment.

3. You may have to carry observers on your vessel.
4. The vessel must be inspected before leaving a New Zealand port.
5. The vessel must carry and continuously operate an Automatic Location Communicator (ALC).
6. The vessel must be marked in accordance with the Fisheries (Commercial Fishing) Regulations 2001. Tenders must also be marked.
7. Landing into a New Zealand port must be to a Licensed Fish Receiver, and a fishery officer or observer must supervise the landing – unless an exemption is issued.
8. Landing into a foreign port requires the prior written approval of MPI.
9. You need prior approval from MPI to move fish between vessels (tranship) on a trip – both to and from the vessel.
10. You must complete the appropriate high seas catch effort and landing returns for your fishing activities.
11. The vessel must:

  • go directly to the high seas when leaving port (to fish on the high seas) and not fish in the New Zealand EEZ unless it has prior approval from MPI
  • go directly to port when entering the New Zealand EEZ and not fish unless it has prior approval from MPI
  • go directly to the high seas when leaving a foreign port (to fish on the high seas) and not fish in the country's EEZ unless it has approval from the foreign country
  • go directly to port when entering a foreign country's EEZ and not fish unless it has approval from the foreign country.

12. Whenever the vessel is in an area where fishing, or certain types of fishing, are not allowed, stow the relevant fishing equipment so that it isn't available.
13. Requirements for specific stocks or areas:

  • You must have approval from MPI to trawl on the 'Westpac Bank' area of the Challenger Plateau next to New Zealand's EEZ.
  • You must have approval from MPI to fish for any straddling or highly migratory fish stocks that are subject to measures established by organisations or arrangements listed in the permit.

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