[8 June/The Country]

The fishing industry was not opposed to the deployment of monitoring cameras on commercial boats, however was worried about the access to catch data and the cost of the policy. Fisheries Minister, Stuart Nash, said the deployment was on hold as he wanted more information. The cameras had been installed by Seafood New Zealand on a sample of vessels for scientific research purposes. One of the skippers, Sam Hayes, said he had no issues with the cameras and preferred them to an observer for safety and practicality reasons. Fisheries Inshore NZ Chief, Jeremy Helson, said they saw cameras as a valuable information collection tool however many in the industry were worried data might be accessed publically via the Official Information Act. This could potentially reveal commercially sensitive details such as fishing spots, gear used and practices. Forest & Bird spokesman, Geoff Keey, said reports of illegal behaviour by fishers showed why cameras were needed.