First Japanese FCV reflagged

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 49, December 2015

A Memorandum of Cooperation with Japan’s Maritime Bureau has paved the way for the first reflagging of a Japanese foreign chartered fishing vessel (FCV).

The 68 metre trawler Tomi Maru no 87 is the fourth vessel to be reflagged, of the 19 FCVs operating off the coast of New Zealand, and the first of five Japanese vessels.

FCVs have operated in the New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone since the 1980s. Government legislation now requires FCVs be reflagged by 1 May, 2016 – to bring them under the same high New Zealand standards of safety, workplace conditions and fisheries legislation that other New Zealand fishing vessels are subject to.

Maritime NZ General Manager Maritime Standards, Sharyn Forsyth, says “the development of the Memorandum, and reflagging of the first Japanese vessel, are significant achievements – and show the strong commitment by both nations to meeting the New Zealand standards”.

Hiroaki Sakashita
The Director-General of Japan’s Maritime Bureau, Hiroaki Sakashita (seated), with members of the Japanese delegation that developed the Memorandum of Cooperation.
Maritime New Zealand ©2019

It is hoped similar agreements can be developed with Korea and the Ukraine – countries which each have FCVs operating permanently in New Zealand waters. To date one vessel each, flagged to Japan, the Ukraine, the Dominican Republic, and St Vincent and the Grenadines, have reflagged to New Zealand.

Mrs Forsyth says a delegation from the Maritime Bureau, of Japan’s Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, worked closely with Maritime NZ to develop a structure for Japanese crew to have their qualifications recognised under the New Zealand seafarer certification framework, SeaCert.

To monitor compliance with New Zealand laws, Maritime Officers will inspect all FCVs after they have reflagged to New Zealand. Maritime NZ will also collect and analyse information gathered by fisheries observers, from the Ministry of Primary Industries, about working and living conditions when the vessels are operating at sea.

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