[RAW VIDEO] HMNZS Wellington in the Southern Ocean chasing illegal fishers

The Navy has released some raw footage this afternoon of the HMNZS Wellington chasing down illegal fishers in the Southern Ocean.

Their press release states:

The Royal New Zealand Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS WELLINGTON has concluded its maritime surveillance patrol in the Southern Ocean and will resupply in Dunedin today on her way to the Devonport Naval Base.

The ship will berth at 9am and sail at 4pm. She will arrive in Auckland on Friday, having been away for eight weeks.  

The NZDF Maritime Component Commander, Commodore (CDRE) John Campbell,  says that the ship and crew have done an excellent job in a challenging environment during the recent three-week patrol in the Southern Ocean.

“The Southern Ocean is one of the most remote and inhospitable areas in the world,” he said.

“During this patrol the captain and crew have encountered a range of difficult circumstances and they have risen to those challenges safely and professionally every time.

“In particular, they have found and intercepted several vessels fishing illegally and obtained valuable evidence to pursue international actions to bring down the syndicates responsible.”


– RNZN supplied footage


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  • andrewo


    • Daniel

      Agreed. Give Sea Shepherd the coordinates and let them do their thing – I disagree with their actions against law-abiding fishers/whalers in other areas but when it comes to actual law breakers then they can go right ahead.

      • Bob D

        Actual tough lawbreakers would dispose of Sea Shepherd within minutes. Even tough governments have them sorted. Look what happened when they tried it on with the Russians.

        • Daniel

          No great loss to let them have a go then :P

  • conwaycaptain

    Pilots board vessels in far worse conditions than that. The pics of the Lt Cmdr and the fizz boat alongside the fishing boat are no more than force 3-4

    • Bart67

      When a Pilot boards a vessel, it is with the master of the vessel acting in a manner so as to allow the pilot to board. The masters of these fishing vessels chose not to allow a boarding. That is a salient point to make!

      • conwaycaptain

        There is so little freeboard that they could board with little danger

  • sheppy

    Taking a video of the wrongdoing – that’ll teach them!

    • Phoenician

      Naughty boys!

  • conwaycaptain

    Nine weeks!!!!!! Bloody hell used to do 6 months with 4-5 weeks at SEA!!!! on each leg at a time. 4 weeks to the Med then 6 weeks as a floating reefer store in Piraeus!!!! Then 14 weeks with 4 or 5 ports and long legs at sea.

    • mommadog

      A question – is the time related to the actual boat itself. I believe NZ bought some crappy not fit for purpose boats. I just checked my memory and came across this piece.

      Seems the Sea Shepard came to the rescue then as well – finding their life rafts for them.

      If we have an air force that doesn’t have fighter planes and a Navy with bad boats lets hope the Army has some decent rifles as that’s all that is standing between me as citizen and whoever decides to invade, That’s if the politicians will let the army fire them and not wave white flags welcoming our invaders. I’m thinking the learn to take care of yourself rule applies and all the more reason to get fit and loose the blubber so I can.

      • Phoenician

        Looks like I’m going to have to get in supplies of cheese and white flags, unless we’ve got an army that can (and is allowed to) fight.

      • mike

        Actually its a bloody big ocean standing between you and any invasion force. We’re protected by virtue of our isolation… I don’t think the 4500 men and women in our Army are in any position to fight any enemy force who have the equipment and resources to cross the Southern Ocean with any strength.

        I mean we’re good, but there are only 4500 regular force soldiers, and probably only a third of them (if that) are combat troops.

  • roxo

    “For New Zealand, this was a defining, cutting-edge mission that we’ve taken the lead with on the international stage. No other nations do this and we should be very proud.”

    Bollocks! PROUD – more like ashamed! Other nations would use the guns or force – which is why we have a navy. How about next time the navy just put their slippers on and just send a drone to get the photos. This ranks as one of the most pathetic efforts ever – you have a multi-million dollar fully equipped warship for what – a few photos. I’ve been in bigger seas off the Otago coast!

    • mommadog

      Sounds like some reputation damage control going on. If this is what is left of NZs Navy and that’s all they can do we may as well not have a Navy. My definition of Navy means being part of the Armed Forces – not sailors out for a fewweeks sail to take pictures. Or maybe put some of the Army special forces blokes on the boat and take them down to deal with it. How in heck did we manage to have some of the Navy and a boat helping other countries chase pirates but we don’t do anything about pirates in our own backyard.

    • Luis Cannon

      New Zealand blew a great marketing chance. As newbies to the Security Council they could have shown they meant business. As a ‘prize of war’ the catch could have been processed and been part of our foreign aid to needy nations.. Time for a few more tots of rum and less chardonnay.

      • Mine it,Drill it,Sell it.

        As of last year ALL New Zealand Navy vessels are completely dry,NO Tots, No Rum and No Fun.

        • Bart67

          Sorry, but you are incorrect! NZ Navy Vessels do not allow drinking AT SEA whilst underway. Alongside and out of working hours, ships messes still run a bar. The Tot of Rum was abolished in 1991, as in a modern navy, allowing all personnel to drink the equivalent of 8 nips of rum at midday is a little bit dated! Safety and accountability to the taxpayer is a little more important, don’t you think?

          • Mine it,Drill it,Sell it.

            Not wanting to repeat myself but:

            As of last year ALL New Zealand Navy “vessels” are completely dry.

          • Bart67

            Not wanting to repeat myself, but I serve on the vessels, and the vessels still have bars in them, which supply alcohol while the ships are alongside in Auckland and alongside in foreign ports. They just don’t serve alcohol whilst at SEA!! Trust me, I know what I am talking about!

          • Mine it,Drill it,Sell it.

            I stand to be corrected but not the impression I received when this policy was announced.

    • Luis Cannon

      No guts, no glory.

  • conwaycaptain

    You ought to see the seas that I have seen pilots board in!!!!
    In Melbourne they used to have a pilot cutter off the heads and they would transfer into a small pinnace not nearly as powerful as that boat and come across and up a 15-30 ft pilot ladder. Same in Liverpool, Rotterdam and many N European ports.
    In 1966 they still operated a Sailing Pilot cutter off Boston!!! Even in WINTER at – umpteen degrees.

    • Ah but we have to factor in OSH in case any of the jacks bruise a finger climbing a boarding ladder or get ear damage from firing the pop gun forrard. Best course of action for these pirates would be to give them 10 minutes to abandon ship and then put a few rounds into the rust bucket.
      Then they’d get the message.

  • It’s days like this one just feels proud to be…oh wait, that was yesterday, before we decided to take it up somewhere and pretend we achieved something. How utterly pathetic. Open fire and see how fast they surrender (or not, just one more boat at the bottom of the sea).

  • Tony Norriss

    Surely all they need to do is snag the propellers of these boats with some steel ropes. That shouldn’t overly aggravate the tender petals who can’t stomach the thought of sending these rust buckets to the bottom of the ocean.

    • Tom

      They have a great big tube on the front for stopping other boats

  • Tony

    Previous generations would be ashamed of this supposed naval vessel but I suppose with girls on board and a PC environment they might as well stay at home. The Defense Forces seem to be unwilling to go to war and yet that is supposedly what they join up to do. Only the SAS allows us to hold our heads up high.

    • Dumrse

      “The Defense Forces seem to be unwilling to go to war…”. Its a shame you don’t do some research before making such statements because if you did you may just realise the Defence Force does not work in isolation of the Govt. Rather, they take their direction from the Govt and therefore if the Govt says “come home’ then home it is. Trust me, a big % of military staff would deploy at the drop of a hat.
      Edit: Gr.

    • Bart67

      Tony, I have served with a great number of personnel at sea, both male and female, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for them. They do a great job, and you, sir, need to wind your bloody head in!

    • Huia

      The defense forces can only act on what the powers that be instruct them to.
      I bet that captain would have liked nothing better than to put a hole in those boats just under the water line. Poor Mariners, must be frustrating to have to stand down and be unable to act on what they have been trained to do.

  • Jim460

    They should have stayed at home and saved us the fuel. But I don’t blame them. It’s a bit unfair to our sailors that HMNZS Wellington now looks like the most craven warship on the seven seas. They did no more than their political masters let them. Were they even carrying live ammunition?

    • shykiwibloke

      Staying home would improve the Captain’s success in his #1 priority – ‘to keep the crew and ship safe’. Lord help us if the Captain’s of Naval ships thought the same in wartime.
      I have no issue with that objective, but if it prevents you from effectively doing your job – time to change plans. Is this a Navy or a Kindergarten?
      Perhaps they should take all the dangerous nasty explosives and ammo off the boat too. Someone could get hurt!

  • Jaffa

    A hole at the waterline up forrard would encourage them to slow down !

  • R&BAvenger

    You can thank Helen Clark and the Labour shambles from 1999 to 2008 that decimated our Defence Force and let the navy with ships barely adequate for the task. They had a helicopter on board but I believe unable to deploy it in heavy seas. Not the fault of the service personnel on board, but the previous government’s lack of commitment to defence. Current government not a lot better but at least they didn’t shut down the entire air strike capability of the Air Force.
    They are armed, but they are not in our EEZ, so options limited by ROE. As a government’s Armed Force and not mercenaries they cannot just fire at will at unarmed civilian vessels, even if clearly poaching.
    Inside our EEZ is a completely different scenario.

    • Mark Schmid

      In 2010 the current Government cut the defence Budget by 350 million dollars – how many decades will it take till you stop blaming Helen for everything?

      • R&BAvenger

        The inshore and offshore vessels were purchased under the Clark government and commissioned in 2007 and 2008, so yes I blame that government for the shambles. It was their decision to follow that path of defence policy and acquire this type of vessel, that seem to have been found wanting.
        The savings/cuts across the defence budget you refer to were across the entire defence force, not just the Navy. Did those cuts have an influence on the outcome of the Southern Ocean encounter? – I do not know.

        • mike

          Project Protector was a absolute sham. The ships we bought are not up to task, nor are they proper military vessels… just because you whack a gun on a ship does not make it a military vessel.

          Add to that the fact that the Government did not give the Navy extra funding to crew the new ships.

          Maybe Bart can tell us how many ships the Navy can fully crew at any one time.

          • R&BAvenger

            Yes, good comment.


            here on the Navy website they split the force into ‘Combat’, ‘Support’ and ‘Patrol’.

            Also in a Herald article, the Captain of the Wellington has a bit to say.


            :” Criticism [by Opposition politicians though he doesn’t mention them!]was misplaced. Not only did we find three illegal, unreported and unregulated vessels operating in an area of Antarctica the size of Australia,we caught them in the act …..and gained a whole heap of evidence.” He goes on to say:”Calls by some MPs to use force were “ill-informed”.It was a peace-time operation and we abide by a strict set of rules of engagement.”

  • There are a couple of observations that I would make that people may not be aware of.

    1. These fishermen were in international waters not NZs EEZ. If it was our EEZ then boarding would have been almost a certainty.

    2. While the OPVs are capable vessels the Wellington got down there near the end of its fuel reserves and couldn’t therefore hang around too long.

    3. The mission was to gather evidence not interdict.

    4. Buggered if I would get out of a boat in those swells, so good on those guys. And yes I’m not a mariner…but with the exception of Conway Captain most aren’t.

    5. I think there is a problem with the politicians talking it up big time, and then hanging our the Navy when the mission was executed as planned. As usual.

  • willtin

    I was beginning to think some comments on this topic might be showing a hint of Green.

  • George Costanza

    “Our navy is manned by a dedicated group of people who work damn hard to do their best!”
    Rubbish!. respect to you, you clearly love it. But that is not my experience, and it kills me to say that. The prolific drug use i observed, and sadly partook in myself, is testament. Tell the fine folk here how we use the nprc as a holding tank to keep our induction numbers high despite having inadequate postings available for them, so as to maintain the budget the RNZN recieves..

    • Bart67

      You left, I stayed!