Maritime Union joins calls to end joint venture fishing
The Maritime Union of New Zealand has added its voice to calls for the removal of foreign-crewed joint venture fishing vessels from New Zealand fisheries.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says he agrees with the common sense approach to the problem outlined by the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen.
“There is no need for foreign charter vessels to be working New Zealand waters. Removing overseas operators could boost local employment whilst at the same time allow for further cuts to quota to ensure future sustainability.”
He says crews on joint venture vessels don’t pay ACC or PAYE, and there have been ongoing concerns about the treatment of overseas fishing workers on board.
“Regulation is required for the protection of fish stocks, jobs and working conditions.”
Mr Hanson says the overfishing of New Zealand waters is an indictment of the failed approach of the past.
He says around 25 years ago when foreign joint ventures arrived in New Zealand waters, industry and Government welcomed them as the way forward for training of New Zealand fishermen and establishment of a New Zealand industry.
“Only a very small percentage of this promise came true. It turned out to be much easier to bring in cheap labour and cheap charterers, which meant bigger profits for the New Zealand partners.”
The removal of foreign joint ventures in favour of New Zealand fishing vessels would have immediate benefits for New Zealand process workers and fishermen, and could assist in the regeneration of overfished species.