22nd November 2009

During the last month we have all been busy with preparations for the 2009-10 Ross Sea Toothfish season.

It all starts in Hobart where CCAMLR (Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) members gather every year. Scientists and government officials from around the world convene to set and agree on sustainable catch allocations for all fishing within the CCAMLR jurisdiction. This includes area 88.1 and 88.2 which we regard as our Ross Sea fishery.

For us, the outcome was great….. Once again, all four New Zealand vessels were allocated licenses and the scientists have recommended a slight increase for the total allowable Toothfish catch for the coming season. But, there are a few more regulations and research requirements attached to our permit conditions this season.

The CCAMLR round of negotiations is followed by another meeting in Wellington just before we sail for the Ross Sea. This time, representatives from MFAT (Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade), MFISH (Ministry of Fisheries), the Observer Program, NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmosphere), SEAFIC (Seafood Industry Council), RCCNZ (Rescue Coordination Centre NZ), LINZ (Land Information NZ) and our team from the ITC (Industry Toothfish Committee) all get together to make sure everyone is up to speed with the latest research and permit requirements. Every year the number of participants to this meeting increases, this time there were around 43 people attending and everyone was involved in some way with the Ross Sea Toothfish Fishery.

Francois lining up with people from the Observer program, NIWA, Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Fishery for lunch.

Jeff (Skipper of Janas for Sealord), Pete (Skipper of San Aotea II), Me, Greg (Sanford Deep Water Fleet manager), Trevor (MFAT), Jack (Sanford research and developments).

We sail south on Sunday 22nd November 12:00hrs…..by all accounts I don’t think we have to go far to see our first ice berg.

Rgds: John B.

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