WELLINGTON, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Fisheries New Zealand on Monday approved the use of an innovative trawl technology for commercial operations in some deep--water fisheries, called the Precision Seafood Harvesting Modular Harvest System (MHS).
The MHS is the first innovative trawl technology to be approved under amendments to the commercial fishing regulations introduced last year, Stuart Anderson, director of fisheries management at Fisheries New Zealand, said in a statement.
The regulations were amended to support innovations in trawl gear that provide opportunities to achieve better quality of catch, add value across the sector, and ensure the sustainable use of fisheries resources, Anderson said.
The performance of the MHS was tested in trials over the last six years in deep water and middle-depth fisheries, he said.
"Vessel operators are now able to use the gear commercially under the conditions specified in the approval, including: only when targeting hoki, hake, and ling, within area and depth restrictions, and certification and reporting conditions," Anderson said.
Fisheries New Zealand will monitor the use of the MHS to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions, and to ensure environmental impacts from the MHS are no more than from traditional commercial trawling, he added.
Justine Gilliland, Ministry for Primary Industries deputy director-general sector partnerships and programs, said approval of the MHS is "an exciting step towards making this technology a commercial reality, and towards getting the gains in sustainability and delivering higher value seafood."