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Foreign flagged fishing boats to be banned in New Zealand waters by TRACY WATKINS, DANYA LEVY AND MICHAEL FIELD May 22,2012   |  Source: Stuff.co.nz

Foreign flagged fishing boats are to be banned in New Zealand waters over labour, safety and fisheries concerns.

The Government announced the surprise decision this afternoon amid ongoing controversy over abuses on the boats.

Primary Industries Minister David Carter and Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson said foreign-flagged fishing vessels would no longer be able to legally operate in New Zealand waters after a four-year transition period.

"The Government's decision sends a clear message that New Zealand is serious about the fair treatment of fishing crews, the safety of vessels and its international reputation for ethical and sustainable fishing practices," the ministers said.

Boats will have to be reflagged with New Zealand flags which will require them to meet New Zealand standards and requirements.

Legislation will be introduced to amend the Fisheries Act by the end of the year.

The changes will effect the 12 out of 27 New Zealand fishing companies which use foreign chartered ships.

Carter said the Government acknowledged there would be an economic impact on the companies affected but detailed analysis of the cost had not been completed.

Last year all 32 Indonesian crew on the Korean Oyang 75 walked off the ship alleging sexual and physical abuse.

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© 2012 Fairfax New Zealand Limited

Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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