Initial installations on the 23 boats will be followed by a further 70 installations by the end of the year, and up to 300 by early 2025.
The cameras join the existing activities used to monitor commercial fishing in New Zealand, including monitoring boat locations and the work of on-board observers.
This is a significant step in monitoring commercial fishing in New Zealand and will improve transparency and accountability across the sector.
Cameras have been prioritised on boats posing a higher risk to protected species of marine mammals and seabirds. Filming only occurs when fishing is taking place.
People in New Zealand and around the world are demanding evidence of sustainable fishing practices. New Zealand’s cameras will increase the number of on-board cameras globally by around 15 percent.
The camera rollout follows trials along the west coast of the North Island focused on protecting Māui dolphin habitat.
The trials were accompanied by bans on trawling across 12,000 square kilometres and bans on set netting over 32,000 square kilometres.
Review of footage is based on several considerations, including whether:
fishing has taken place in areas where there is likely to be more protected species interactions
areas where there is concern around reporting
More information about the on-board camera programme can be found here.