46 South predominately works with the inshore fisheries surrounding New Zealand's idyllic remote coastline. The boats range from 40-70ft in length & are generally crewed by 2-3 people. Trips last anywhere from 1-3 days. These fishermen brave the southern ocean elements to see that premium harvested seafood is delivered on a consistent basis to both domestic and overseas markets.
A question that is often asked is ‘bycatch’. Often when fishing there is a target species. Usually species like Red Bream/Snapper or Monkfish. When fishing you cant just put up a sign and ask that the one species takes the bait or swims into the net! The way New Zealand’s Quota Management System works it that each fisher must have quota to land all their species. So if they are targeting Monkfish but also are catching Sole, Gurnard, Skate, Dogfish and Elephant fish then they must ensure that they have sufficient quota to cover all these species. If they don't then penalties are incurred. This forces the fisher into not fishing that area if they don't have the quota remaining for that calendar year and know they might catch other species. You then might ask ‘ Well whats stopping the fisher from dumping the unwanted species’ !? The answer...strict enforcement to maintain the integrity of the Quota Management System. This is either via profiling, observers and video cameras. Profiling works in that if the paperwork (catch reports) doesn't match up with all the honest fishermen in the area then an investigation will begin into that boat using ariel observations, or reviewing video data if the vessel is fitted. The penalties are that severe that the fisher once caught will unlikely be able to commercially fish ever again.
Red Bream, Gurnard, Tarakihi, Trevally, Groper (wreckfish), Snapper, Kingfish, Ling (kingclip), Alfonsino, John Dory
These vessels predominately day fish off the North Islands east coast. They use baited hooks set on a long line. Distraction devices at the back of the boat and weights every 20-50 hooks to sink the line faster are used to mitigate the risks of accidental seabird capture. The fish are brought aboard live and are ‘Iki Jime’ spiked, then placed in a ice/sea water slurry before packed in a tote with ice. To read more about the 'Iki Jime' way of harvesting then check out our page called 'the goods' where we talk about this method in detail and why its a point of difference when it comes to quality.
Sole, Monkfish, Brill, Turbot, Ling, Gurnard, Tarakihi
Managed properly and within a quota system like New Zealand’s, trawling can be an effective way to harvest seafood when there is only a short window of good weather. The boats use small light nets and only tow these nets in areas where bottom habitat is sandy with no ecological importance, and is more resilient than other habitat types to the impacts of fishing gear. The net is towed for 2hrs along the seafloor at a slow speed. By only having the net in the water for short duration means the fish are landed in good condition. The net has diagonal mesh that stays open to allow smaller fish to pass through. Once the net is hauled aboard and emptied it goes back over and the same process is repeated, usually 3-4 times in one day. While the net is back in the water the catch is cleaned and harvested before being placed inside totes with ice.
Blue Cod, Ling
Traps are steel cages with wire mesh. They are generally 4ft x 4ft x 2 ft in size and have holders for bait. The wire mesh is square and bigger enough to allow the smaller fish to escape. Once on the grounds that the fisher has chosen, the traps are set and left in the water for 1-2hrs. Typical bottom type is gravel, or rock and kelp which is resilient to the weight of the trap. Each boat usually has between 8-12 traps on board. Once lifted the the trap is emptied, re-baited and set again. The fish are bled and placed in a slurry of ice and water. Once the traps are all reset the fisher will clean the fish and place them inside a tote with ice.