A Note and Survey From Steve Little

OBSERVERS ON YOUR BOAT

STEVE LITTLE & JOHN YOUNG VERSUS MINISTRY OF FISHERIES

TO WIN THIS CASE WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

Both of us refused to take observers on last season’s Hectors dolphin programme.

We believe:

  • There are real safety issues taking an extra person aboard small inshore boats.
  • The liability for any injuries to persons that have little or no sea time or fishing experience is unacceptable.
  • The lack of space, inconvenience and disruption of the normal running of your business is unacceptable.
  • There has been no discussion or any form of collaboration with any of the participating skippers.
  • It has been take an observer or be prosecuted.
  • At present both of our vessels have been bonded back to the crown and we are racking up some serious legal expenses.

We need you to highlight the problems you had to deal with by accommodating that extra person aboard. And answer some “yes or no” straight forward questions.

The Ministry of Fisheries has so far been uncooperative in supplying the boats who took observers so we cannot do a full mail out.

QUESTIONS

1. Was there sufficient space and facilities aboard your vessel for an extra person? Yes/no

2. Were you satisfied the observer had sufficient sea going experience and was a fit and proper person to have aboard? Yes/no

3. Did carrying that extra person cause you to lose any sea time or cause disruption to your normal fishing operations? Yes/no

4. Was your liability for any injury to the observer made clear to you before going to sea with that person? Yes/no

5. Would you voluntarily take another observer to sea on future fishing trips? Yes/no

PLEASE RELATE ANY PARTICULAR INCIDENTS THAT WERE A CONCERN TO YOU ON ANY OF THE FISHING TRIPS.

ANY PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL RELEVANT TO YOUR CONCERNS WOULD BE HELPFUL.

 A question we all might ask is when is enough, enough?

Setnetters who have taken observers over several years have been rewarded by ground closures with serious economic consequences.