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The Fisheries Act 1983 marked a major forward step in New Zealand resource management law. Much of it has been superseded by the 1996 Act, but some remains central.

Sections 67 and 67AEdit

67 Disposal of fish by commercial fishermen
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, every commercial fisherman may on or after the 1st day of October 1986 sell or otherwise dispose of fish taken by the commercial fisherman in that capacity or in the commercial fisherman’s possession in that capacity only to a person who is licensed or deemed to be licensed under regulations made pursuant to section 89(1)(h) of this Act, or to the Crown.
(2) Any commercial fisherman may sell or otherwise dispose in any one transaction of not more than—
(a) Ten kilograms of finfish; or
(b) Six kilogrammes of shellfish (other than Foveaux Strait dredge oysters or shellfish of Class Crustacea); or
(ba) Sixty Foveaux Strait dredge oysters; or
(c) Three kilograms of shellfish of Class Crustacea; or
(d) Any combination of such fish within those limits—
taken by the commercial fisherman to any person who is not licensed or deemed to be licensed under the regulations referred to in subsection (1) of this section where the transaction takes place on or in the vicinity of the vessel used by the commercial fisherman to take the fish or at some other place approved by the Director-General.
(2A) A commercial fisherman shall not enter into more than one such transaction with the same person within any 24-hour period.
(3) Every commercial fisherman who sells or otherwise disposes of any fish under the authority of subsection (2) of this section shall, at the time of the transaction, make such records of the transaction as the commercial fisherman is required to make under section 66 of this Act.
67A Restrictions on purchase or acquisition of fish by certain persons
(1) No person licensed or deemed to be licensed under regulations made under section 89(1)(h) of this Act may purchase or otherwise acquire or be in possession of any fish that were not taken by that person, unless the fish were purchased, acquired, or obtained from a commercial fisherman, or the holder of a permit issued under section 67J of this Act, or the holder of a lease or licence under the Marine Farming Act 1971, or the holder of a licence issued under the Freshwater Fish Farming Regulations 1983, or from another person licensed or deemed to be licensed under those regulations or the Crown.
(2) No person who is not a commercial fisherman, or the holder of a permit issued under section 67J of this Act, or the holder of a lease or licence under the Marine Farming Act 1971, or the holder of a licence issued under the Freshwater Fish Farming Regulations 1983, or a person licensed or a person deemed to be licensed under regulations made under section 89(1)(h) of this Act may purchase or otherwise acquire or be in possession of any fish for the purposes of sale, in any form, unless the person purchased or acquired the fish from—
(a) A commercial fisherman in a transaction referred to in section 67(2) of this Act; or
(b) A person licensed or deemed to be licensed under regulations made under section 89(1)(h) of this Act; or
(ba) The holder of a permit under section 67J of this Act, or the holder of a lease or licence under the Marine Farming Act 1971, or the holder of a licence issued under the Freshwater Fish Farming Regulations 1983; or
(c) The Crown.
(3) Nothing in subsection (2) of this section shall apply in respect of any fish purchased or acquired before the 1st day of October 1986 or any fish that came into the possession of the person before that date.
(4) Nothing in this section shall apply in respect of any sports fish taken legally pursuant to a current licence issued by a Fish and Game Council and served to the angler who took the fish and the angler’s immediate guests.
(5) Nothing in this section shall apply in respect of any fish taken legally and served to the person who took the fish and the person’s immediate guests.
(6) For the purposes of this section, the expression fish does not include whitebait.

Judicial summariesEdit

The following is from a 2006 judgment of a New Zealand Court (CA152/05):

[26] The Act originally controlled access to the fishing industry by a pure permit regime. The Fisheries Amendment Act 1986 introduced a quota management system which limited the quantity of fish that could be extracted from any fishery during a fishing season. The integrity of the quota management scheme was dependent on returns, which were checked by reference to other documents completed and filed by various participants in the fishing industry. Commercial fishermen were required to report all fish caught and landed/sold. They were only allowed to sell to LFRs who also were required to report their purchases to the Ministry of Fisheries.
[27]The regime of cost recovery levies was introduced under the Fisheries Amendment Act 1994. It introduced a process whereby commercial fishermen were required to pay management costs incurred in enabling commercial fishing to take place. Section 107L was a coercive provision to encourage compliance with the obligations to pay the levies. Mr Powell submitted that Parliament could not have intended that the coercive regime be rendered ineffective by treating a commercial fishermen, who was for the time being suspended, as not being subject to the statutory controls placed on commercial fishermen (including s 67). He noted also that such an interpretation would undermine the entire quota management scheme as a suspended fisherman would have no obligation to file returns.


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