New Zealand Restricts Bottom Trawling
The New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries yesterday announced it will implement, effective May 1, interim measures to mitigate the environmental impact of bottom trawling.
The measures are designed to avoid and manage adverse impacts to vulnerable marine ecosystems from bottom trawling by focusing fishing activity on areas that are likely to have already been significantly affected, and by minimizing the impact of fishing in other areas.
An area of 112,000 square kilometers of fishing grounds will be closed and no new areas will be opened to ensure that bottom-trawling activity does not increase from current levels.
Moderately trawled areas will have a "move-on" rule that requires vessels that have accidentally taken bycatch to stop fishing, move 5 nautical miles away and report the bycatch to the ministry. Heavily trawled areas that have not been closed will remain available to normal fishing activity, provided that the fishing vessels carry at least one Ministry of Fisheries observer.