Award Of CCAMLR Permits For Ross Sea Toothfish FisheryAssociate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
"SS Fishing Ltd has been awarded the available access for this season's exploratory toothfish fishery in the Ross Sea," the Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Upton, and the Minister of Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control, John Luxton, announced today.
"The fishing will take place under strict conditions set by the Commission for the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which is responsible for the management of fisheries in the waters of the Ross Sea. The two New Zealand-flagged and controlled SS Fishing vessels, the Janas and the San Aotea II, will be fishing by longline only. They are the only vessels licensed by CCAMLR to fish in the Ross Sea region during this period, " the Ministers said.
"Their activities will be closely monitored by an international observer appointed under the CCAMLR Scheme of Observation and Inspection, as well as by a Ministry of Fisheries Observer."
"The vessels will also be complying with the requirements of the Antarctica (Environmental Protection) Act which implements the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty in New Zealand law. This will ensure that their activities will have no more than a minor or transitory impact on the Antarctic environment," the Ministers concluded.
The CCAMLR exploratory toothfish fishery in the Ross Sea will be open to New Zealand-flagged vessels from 15 December 1998 until 31 August 1999.
Vessels undertaking the fishery are required to spread their fishing effort over as wide an area as possible, to trial new methods for mitigation of seabird bycatch and to gather extensive scientific data which will be used by CCAMLR to assess the long-term fisheries potential of the region.
New Zealand operators interested in fishing in the CCAMLR waters of the Ross Sea, or elsewhere in the Southern Ocean managed by the Convention, will be invited to register their interest with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Antarctic Policy Unit) by 31 May 1999.