Guidance on Watchkeeping for Fishers

Maritime NZ is developing guidance on watchkeeping for fishers to help them stay safe and meet their obligations under the law.


Maritime NZ is seeking the input of skippers, crew, and the wider fishing industry on new watchkeeping guidance expected to be published later this year.

According to Maritime NZ research, poor watchkeeping practices lead to almost a third of incidents on the water, including groundings, collisions and near-misses, and it is hoped new guidance will help to address that.

The guidance does not contain any new rules; just a reminder for both skippers and crew of the current legislation and their responsibilities for helping to ensure that every fishing trip is safe and people return to shore unharmed.

Consultation documents

We are seeking your feedback on two draft guidance documents:

  1. Watchkeeping guidance for skippers and PCBUs (this is guidance for skippers and fishing vessel owner-operators)
  2. Watchkeeping guidance for crew (this is guidance for anyone going on watch on a fishing vessel)

A submission form is included for each document, to help you with your response. Please make sure you use the form to provide feedback. Feedback received any other way may not be considered.

Making your submission

The deadline for submissions is 5pm Monday 31 October, 2022. Please email your submission to:

All submissions will be collated and while equal consideration will be given to all feedback, there is no guarantee that suggested changes will be actioned.

Thank you for taking the time and effort to help us with this. If you have any questions about these documents or the submission process, please email us at