The total Soviet fish catch in New Zealand waters in 1977 was 123,000 tonnes – twice that taken by New Zealand vessels. Japanese ships were also fishing offshore. This 1977 cartoon refers to an incident where the navy frigate Hawea chased away a Japanese squid-fishing vessel that had come within 12 nautical miles of the Taranaki coast. The boat had merely been seeking shelter from rough seas. In 1977 foreign vessels could legally fish 12 nautical miles offshore, but this changed the following year when New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone was established, extending fishing grounds to 200 nautical miles offshore.
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