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Ed Sheeran

Cameras on boats and new dump rules to fix fisheries
Photo: Getty Images.

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Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker says funding is now in place to fit up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels around the country with onboard cameras by 2024.

An initial rollout in 2019 put cameras on 20 vessels fishing in the Māui dolphin habitats off the North Island.

He says the roll-out will be staged to prioritise vessels that pose the greatest risk to protected species such as Hector’s and Māui dolphins, black petrels and Antipodean albatross.

When complete, cameras will record activity on vessels responsible for about 85 per cent of the inshore catch by volume.

He says onboard cameras will provide more evidence on which to base decisions about policy and regulation, scientific research, and fisheries management.

There will also be rule changes around what fish must be landed and what can be returned to the sea, as a way to encourage fishers to innovate and move to more selective fishing practices in order to catch only the fish they want and find ways to avoid catching the smaller or economically low-value fish.

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