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Digital Monitoring: GPR, eLogbook & Camera Technology

Dave James —

GPR (VMS) Vessel Tracking & Electronic Logbook for NZ Commercial Fishing

Digital Monitoring of commercial fishing

Fishermen will be aware of the immanent implementation of compulsory new vessel monitoring technology within our NZ commercial fishing industry. 

Fisheries New Zealand is rolling out a new digital system for tracking, monitoring and reporting of commercial fishing.

The Digital Monitoring project, previously known as Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System (IEMRS), will support sustainable fisheries.


Marintec are an independent agnostic supplier of electronic technology, and we will select and work with manufacturers/vendors that offer our clients the best offering for their application.

If you would like to be kept up to date with GPR (VMS), e-logbook & camera offerings, please contact us here.

What is Digital Monitoring?

The digital monitoring system is made up of:

  • electronic catch reporting via an e-log book – to provide better and more timely information on commercial catch effort
  • electronic position reporting – to verify (when used with electronic catch reporting) where and when fishing happened
  • on-board cameras – to verify what is being reported

A digital system for tracking, reporting, and monitoring commercial fishing activity will more accurate and up-to-date information to better inform decision-making by government and the fishing industry.

Why Digital monitoring?

The aim is to:

  • maximise the recreational, customary, commercial, and environmental value of New Zealand's fisheries
  • give New Zealanders, and consumers from around the world, confidence that fish from our waters are being managed and caught sustainably
  • allow Fisheries New Zealand to verify information being reported and encourage compliance.

Some fisheries around the world are already using digital technology to report catch, effort, and position data.


Over 28m trawlers have been reporting electronically since October 2017. As announced by Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash on 13 September 2018, electronic catch and position reporting requirements will be introduced in stages to the rest of the commercial fishing industry:

  • 14 January 2019 – the rollout starts
  • 1 December 2019 – all fishers will be reporting electronically.

Until the regulation amendments have been drafted, details may change.

The introduction of electronic catch and position reporting means you'll need to:

  • submit fishing reports electronically, instead of through the paper-based system
  • use geospatial position reporting (GPR), if you aren't already
  • report more fish than previously, including fish below the minimum legal size.

The rollout to remaining fishers will be done progressively, starting from 14 January 2019. The current plan is to roll it out in 8 stages.

When you start electronic catch and position reporting will depend on your total annual catch entitlement (ACE) holdings. The largest total ACE holders will be first, based on their holdings at 23.59pm on 30 September 2017.

Each of the 8 stages will have a 'can report' and a 'must report' date. So you can start early – if you're ready – from the can report date for your level of total ACE. Fisheries NZ are doing this to limit the number of permit holders starting at any one time, so you can be supported through the change as smoothly as possible.

As soon as a vessel is reporting catch electronically it must also start electronic position reporting.

If you would like further information about the Digital Monitoring roll-out, please visit the Fisheries NZ website: www.fisheries.govt.nz