PROTECTION NEEDED FOR VITAL STRAIT CABLES
TWO RECENT PROSECUTIONS over fishing activities in the Cook Strait Cable Protection Zone (CPZ) reinforce the importance of the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Cook Strait Cable.
The CPZ protects vital submarine electricity and telecommunication cable links between the North and South Islands.
Activities such as fishing and anchoring are prohibited in the CPZ to protect the cables under the Submarine Cables and Pipelines Protection Act 1996. The penalty for breaching the act can result in fines of up to $250,000 and forfeiture of the vessel.
One conviction was of the master of an inshore trawler who negligently conducted a fishing activity inside the CPZ; the other involved a recreational runabout moored in the CPZ. Although there was no damage to cables, both prosecutions resulted in significant penalties.
Information for mariners, fishers, divers and the public can be found at www.transpower.co.nz/resources/cook-strait-cable-booklet.