New Zealand’s largest seafood company Sanford has welcomed the announcement by the Fisheries Minister of multi-party Government support for cameras on fishing vessels.
Sanford’s outgoing CEO Volker Kuntzsch stated that he believes the announcement about Government funding for cameras for New Zealand’s inshore fishing fleet is a great step forward.
‘This is good news. Sanford is a big supporter of a national system of cameras on vessels. We already have cameras on many of our fishing boats, but there has been a piecemeal approach to the technology up till now and this announcement will hopefully change that,’ he said.
Sanford’s Chief Operating Officer Clement Chia says he’s also pleased by the news.
‘Our fishers are supportive of cameras. We are using them on our boats which fish off the North Island West Coast. We have previously trialled them in other areas and the feedback from the guys on the vessels was positive. There have been a number of technology and process issues that need to be sorted out, but having Government support will make that much easier,’ he said.
‘It will also make it easier for smaller fishing operators who would have been unfairly disadvantaged by having to fund the installation of cameras or the cost of monitoring and storing the data themselves. While we can’t speak for anyone else, we do believe this is good news for the whole industry.’
Volker Kuntzsch said that cameras will support Sanford’s drive for transparency.
‘Commercial fishing is a very important sector for New Zealand. Sanford is focused on increasing transparency to highlight that we are focused on doing the right thing at sea,’ he commented.
‘If having cameras on vessels helps reassure people about what we do, that can only be a good thing. We look forward to working with everyone involved to roll out this technology as soon as possible.’