Electronic catch and position reporting

What commercial fishers need to know about the introduction of electronic catch and position reporting, as part of the digital monitoring programme.

The latest on electronic catch and position reporting

Electronic catch and position reporting is being introduced for all fishers not currently using it, in 8 stages from 14 January 2019. Over 28m trawlers have been reporting electronically since October 2017. 

The introduction of electronic catch and position reporting means you'll need to:

  • submit fishing reports electronically, instead of through the paper-based system
  • use geospatial position reporting (GPR), if you aren't already
  • report more fish than previously, including fish below the minimum legal size.

Read about the consultation on regulation amendments relating to electronic catch and position reporting, and the Cabinet decision on our consultation page. Note, until the regulation amendments are drafted, details may change.

When do I start reporting?

When you start electronic catch and position reporting will depend on your total annual catch entitlement (ACE) holdings. The largest total ACE holders will be first, based on their holdings at 23.59pm on 30 September 2017.

Each of the 8 stages will have a 'can report' and a 'must report' date. So you can start early – if you're ready – from the can report date for your level of total ACE. We're doing this to limit the number of permit holders starting at any one time, so you can be supported through the change as smoothly as possible.

As soon as a vessel is reporting catch electronically it must also start electronic position reporting.

The table below has provisional stages for the rollout. Details will be finalised once the regulations are amended.

Provisional rollout of electronic reporting


Permit holder's total ACE holding 30 September 2017

Can start reporting from:

Must be reporting by:



Already reporting (28m+ trawlers)


2,000 and over

14 January 2019

1 May 2019


180 – 1,999.99

1 May 2019

1 June 2019


45 – 179.99

1 June 2019

1 July 2019


24 – 44.99

1 July 2019

1 August 2019


11 – 23.99

1 August 2019

1 September 2019


4.50 – 10.99

1 September 2019

1 October 2019


1 – 4.49

1 October 2019

1 November 2019


All other permit holders

1 November 2019

1 December 2019

Note, details are provisional and subject to change

You may have to report earlier

If a permit holder on a vessel requires electronic reporting because of their total ACE, then all other permit holders using that vessel have to report electronically (regardless of their ACE stage).

As a skipper, if you are fishing under multiple permits, you must begin electronic catch reporting as soon as it's required for the first permit holder. You won't be required to report electronically and on paper at the same time. 

Technology for electronic catch and position reporting

Technology suppliers have developed a range of technology solutions for you to report your catch and position data electronically. Our technology solutions guide highlights some of the points you may want to consider when choosing the best technology for you.

The following table lists providers who have identified themselves as having suitable technology. Fisheries New Zealand doesn’t guarantee any provider or technology solution. It’s your responsibility to make sure you have technology that meets the requirements of the regulations.

Technology providers

Provider name
and website
Technology for:



Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS)



+33 561 394 865


Electronic Navigation Ltd



03 548 4987


ElektronikLab India Pvt Ltd



+91 984 004 3437


FishServe Innovations New Zealand Ltd



04 460 9500


Marintec Ltd



022 657 9821


Navicom Dynamics



09 915 5330


Satlink SL
ATL Commercial Ltd (Satlink agent)



+34 913 272 131
09 974 9348


Weatherdock AG



+49 911 376 63858
+49 178 118 7875


Zebra-Tech Ltd



03 548 0468





+34 944 977 010


We're planning to hold a series of meetings with fishers at ports around the country to talk about electronic catch and position reporting, share guidance material, and help you find out more about the technology. We'll let you know when we have times and locations for these meetings through our regular digital monitoring newsletter and on this web page.

Update FishServe details before you start

The introduction of electronic catch and position reporting means:

  • you will need to authorise all personnel who report, view or manage event returns on your behalf
  • fishers providing reports on your behalf will need to set their privacy setting to allow you to view their fishing locations
  • you'll need to buy an e-logbook to use for electronic catch reporting and register this with FishServe
  • vessel owners and land-based fishers must purchase a GPR device to provide location information to MPI, and register it with FishServe.

FishServe will be in touch to provide specific information to fishers ahead of their start date for the new requirements.

How to report

Reporting catch and landings

You'll be required to do a trip start and trip end report.

There will also now be 5 different fishing event reports that must be recorded, completed, and provided to FishServe separately:

  • Fish catch report: An estimate of your top 8 species whether quota management system (QMS) species or not. Must be completed within 8 hours after fishing.
  • Capture of non-fish or protected fish species report: Reports any non-fish and protected species caught for that fishing event and must be provided with the corresponding fish catch report. If caught when not fishing, for example while steaming, you must provide a report before the close of the day on which the permit holder became aware.
  • Processing report: For vessels that process their catch on board. These must be completed and provided before the close of the day:
    • following the day covered by the report, or
    • on which processing finishes, if it is done over more than one day.
  • Disposal report: Information on all fish not landed (this is an important change from the old system). A disposal report is required for each fishing event where fish are disposed unless the vessel is submitting processing reports. In this case they submit a disposal report covering the same period as the processing report.
  • Landing report: Similar to what you provide now. First you'll submit a detailed inventory of your catch when you land. You'll then update the report when you have the confirmed green weights from your licensed fish receiver.

Monthly harvest returns

Monthly harvest returns may be provided electronically now. This is likely to become mandatory under proposed new regulations.

Reporting position

Position reporting obligations fall on:

  • the vessel operator and master when using a vessel, or
  • a commercial fisher when no vessel is being used. 

When a permit holder on a vessel begins using electronic catch reporting, the vessel operator and master must begin position reporting at the same time. This means that both electronic catch and position reporting would begin on a vessel at the same time. 

If your technology fails

If you are unable to provide electronic position or catch reports because your device fails, you'll need to notify MPI and there will be a process to follow. We'll provide details before you need to start reporting.

Let your fishers know about the requirements

It's important you make sure anyone who fishes on your behalf is aware of the new electronic reporting requirements and complies with them.

Guidance and support

For a quick guide to electronic catch and position reporting, and how it will work for you, take a look at the following:

  • Overview video – An introduction to electronic catch and position reporting
  • How to video – Electronic catch and position reporting: What's changing for commercial fishers?
  • A draft flip book [PDF, 1.1 MB] – Electronic catch and position reporting information in a handy guide for use while fishing. (Subject to further updates)

We're planning a series of meetings around the country in early 2019 to talk about electronic catch and position reporting, and what it will mean for you. We'll be able to answer your questions, provide more guidance material, and demonstrate the technology you'll require. We'll let you know when we have dates and locations finalised.

Information for fishers on over 28m trawlers

Electronic catch and position reporting took effect on 1 October 2017 for over 28m trawlers.

Revised circulars (which detail technical and reporting requirements) were issued on 10 May 2018 and took effect 1 July. 

Guides for over 28m trawl reporting

A user guide is available (in English, Korean and Russian) to help you meet the reporting requirements.

Regulations, circulars and exemptions

How we'll protect your privacy

You may be concerned about what will happen to the information collected from digital monitoring.

We have well-tested systems and tools in place to protect private and commercially sensitive information – we understand that your fishing knowledge is valuable. 

Who to contact

If you have any questions about electronic catch and position reporting email the Digital Monitoring team at digital.monitoring@mpi.govt.nz

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