MOSS adds up for Legacy Fishing

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 49, December 2015

Starting early and putting in the time paid off for Picton couple Nadine and Graham Taylor of Legacy Fishing Ltd, now proud owners of a MOSS Maritime Transport Operator Certificate (MTOC).

Operations Manager Nadine started the application six months before the company was due to enter MOSS and estimates that in total over that period she spent around 80 hours on the process.

Total costs were in the order of $3000. This was made up of the $540 application fee and less than $2000 for the desktop review and site visit. Additionally there was a surveyor fee covering approval of the 10-year survey plan for Legacy’s single vessel, the 12m Fugitive. This plan closely reflected the past survey plan, Nadine says.

Because the Fugitive had a current survey certificate, there was no requirement to re-survey the vessel before entering MOSS, but Nadine does not expect any significant changes to survey costs in future as a result of MOSS, beyond the usual cost of living increases.

The Taylors have been in the crayfish business since 1994, operating the Fugitive out of Port Underwood with a fulltime crewman, fishing out into Cook Strait.

Nadine, who put the couple’s MTOP together, admits they were “weren’t thrilled” when MOSS was introduced.

“We felt SSM was working for us, but yes, it was a more passive system. When MOSS came along we knew we had to get it done, wanted to find out how to get it done, and wanted to do it ourselves,” she says.

She spoke to the only Picton operator in MOSS at the time to get an idea of what was required, and then downloaded the template off the Maritime NZ website, though she says: “I really found that to be just a set of headings”.

“Then I went to our SSM manual and compared it to the headings to identify gaps in the manual – of which there were a lot.”

Nadine worked steadily through adding or expanding procedures for such diverse subjects as trip reporting, transportation of cargo and deploying the emergency tiller.

“To be honest I didn’t refer back to the SSM manual very often because we knew exactly what we did on the boat in terms of plans and procedures – most fishermen do – we just had to capture our actions on paper.”

Starting early was key.

“We took the advice and started six months before we were due to come into MOSS,” she said.

“The process involved sitting down and asking Graham to describe the actual steps he would take if this happened, or that happened. After a day’s fishing or running a business and managing family life, the last thing you want to do is paperwork. Really you are trying to fit it in. Often you only get little periods when you can work on it.”

But with everything that happens on the boat spelled out in the new plan, the site visit held no fears.

“The site visit for us was a good experience,” Nadine says. “We were very confident that everything we had written in the plan reflected what we did on the boat and that we knew exactly what we would do in any situation.”

Nadine says contacting a Maritime NZ maritime officer earlier for advice may have reduced the time taken to complete the process but she and Graham are pleased with the outcome.

“It’s probably taken a total of around 80 hours of work from when I first sat down to read the Maritime NZ website but we’re confident that we ended up with a comprehensive document that is exactly ours. We’re very pleased that it’s a 10-year document and we’re satisfied that it was all done for a reasonable cost.

“We heard all sorts of costs being talked about but our costs reflected those forecast on the website – we’ve paid a lot more for other Government charges.”

Nobody enjoys paying bills, but the Taylors are satisfied their efforts minimized MOSS-related charges.

“We put in the time and that kept the fees down.”

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