• Patrick McBride

Coasters Big Contributor to NZ Economy

Local crews in the Commercial Fishing industry play a significant roll in the New Zealand economy

MOONSHADOW 2 skipper Karle Mcvicar

West Coast boat the Moonshadow 2 is currently in full swing with the Bluefin Tuna fishing season. The Greymouth boat operates under Westfleet Fishing Company.

Fish are caught around 70 nautical miles off the West Coast. The fish are then processed on board and held on ice. Once unloaded they are sent by air to Tokyo, Japan where they are auctioned and distributed.

The season runs from the end of summer into winter as the water cools. During the winter the fish move North in there migration up the Coast of new Zealand stopping briefly at the Hokitika trench where a small fleet of local South Island surface long line boats fish for them.

They are caught further South in the earlier months and also in the North Island.

"Turn around and unloading is normally 6 to 12 hours, we like to get in and out as fast as possible so as we don’t miss many days fishing," McVicar said.

The fish is unloaded early morning and it’s on a plane that same day heading to Japan.

It is no office job out on the water and weather can play it's part.

"Conditions vary, being so far off shore the weather can get particularly nasty," McVicar added.