Monday, October 10, 2016

International rules to strengthen policing of fishing boats in New Zealand

New Zealand authorities will be able to step up inspections of foreign-flagged fishing boats under its accession to an international convention of rules for commercial fishers, New Zealand's maritime authority said Monday.

New Zealand was acceding to the International Maritime Organization's International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F), said Maritime New Zealand director Keith Manch.

The convention covered crew working on fishing vessels of more than 24 meters long or with propulsion power of 750 kiloWatts or more, operating beyond 12 nautical miles from shore.

About 60 New Zealand-flagged vessels of this type, including foreign vessels that must be flagged to New Zealand to fish in New Zealand's exclusive economic zone, operated in these areas.

New Zealand seafarers with STCW-F-aligned tickets would have their qualifications more readily recognized by the 19 states that have also acceded to the Convention, including Canada, Norway, Denmark, and Spain, said Manch in a statement.

The convention would also allow Maritime New Zealand to carry out Port State Control inspections covering crewing issues of foreign-flagged fishing vessels that transit New Zealand waters, even if they did not fish.

Acceding to the convention was good news for those working in the fishing industry, said Manch.

"It will have considerable benefits and will assist New Zealand's efforts to improve safety in the fishing sector," he said.

The convention was expected to be in force in mid-2017.
  [Xinhua/china]
10/10/16

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