Guidance on Watchkeeping for Fishers

Consultation on the draft guidance on watchkeeping for fishers closed on 31 October 2022 at 5pm.


Maritime NZ sought feedback from skippers, crew, and the wider fishing industry on draft watchkeeping guidance. Two guidance documents were released for consultation: guidance for skippers and owner-operators, and guidance for crew going on watch. The guidance did not contain any new rules; just a reminder for both skippers and crew of the current legislation and their responsibilities for helping to ensure that every fishing trip is safe and people return to shore unharmed.

The period for providing feedback on the draft guidance has now closed.


Consultation documents

We are seeking your feedback on two draft guidance documents:

  1. Watchkeeping guidance for skippers and PCBUs (this is guidance for skippers and fishing vessel owner-operators)
  2. Watchkeeping guidance for crew (this is guidance for anyone going on watch on a fishing vessel)

A submission form is included for each document, to help you with your response. Please make sure you use the form to provide feedback. Feedback received any other way may not be considered.

Skipper/PCBU and crew guidance

Skipper/PCBU guidance [PDF: 1.1MB, 19 pages] Crew guidance [PDF: 745kB, 6 pages]



According to Maritime NZ research, poor watchkeeping practices lead to almost a third of incidents on the water, including groundings, collisions and near-misses, and it is hoped new guidance will help to address that. Once the content has been confirmed, the guidelines will be reformatted and designed for publication. Maritime NZ expects to publish the guidance in early 2023.

Contact us

If you have any questions or comments relating to this project, please email