Northland skippers are the latest to back an industry wide code of conduct, developed by New Zealand's major fishing companies.

The code of conduct is made up of six promises and seeks to reinforce the "Promise" media campaign that went live last year.

The agreement reinforces that fisherman around New Zealand will not condone illegal behaviour and that that they will work with the government to ensure the fishing industry is sustainable.

It also states that the industry will invest in science and innovation, treat others fairly and be accountable for delivering on the Promise.


Seafood New Zealand chief executive Tim Pankhurst laid out the six-point plan at a meeting at the Mangonui Cruising Club and at the Whangarei Cruising Club last Wednesday and Thursday.

Pankhurst said that the industry made a promise to the people of New Zealand and through the code of conduct, is serious about keeping that promise.

"In 2017 we conceded that the industry had not always got it right but it was determined to do better. The industry, over the past few years, has made huge strides in environmental care, protection of endangered species, and transparency," he said.

Northland representative and member of the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fisheries, Greg Hayes, said the code is something that fisherman in the area have adhered to for years.

"But it's recognition that we are committed to honouring the promises made and weeding out the people who have been bringing down the industry with bad practise," Hayes said.

Pankhurst said that the code of conduct is not just a document to gather dust.

"We want it in every wheelhouse and boardroom in the country and that is why we are traveling the country to reinforce the importance of the code to skippers everywhere," he said.

Seafood New Zealand spokesperson Lesley Hamilton said the code of conduct was just a way of "backing the Promise" made last year.

"We wanted to put some substance behind what we campaigned about last year and ensure people know we're not just making empty promises," Hamilton said.