Boating NZ - - On Watch -

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.trans­­sources/cook-strait-ca­ble-book­let.

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