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The first of two flights chartered by fishing companies will land over the next few days and they will also foot the costs of a 14 day managed isolation for the crew members.
Seafood New Zealand chief executive Jeremy Helson says shore-bound vessels would be costing Sealord, Independent Fisheries and Maruha Nichiro tens of millions of dollars.
He says bringing the specialist crew into the country is a lifeline for them as they can't keep Kiwis employed in processing plants if they can't fish.
The government gave border exemptions for the foreign crews last month.
The seamen will share twin rooms in managed isolation before re-staffing deep sea fishing boats.
A managed Isolation and quarantine spokeswoman said a total of 800 seamen will eventually pass through the facilities.
She said they will be expected to follow strict rules to prevent Covid-19 being spread.
Welcome packs are being translated into Russian and the fishing companies will pay for translators as well as chartered flights and room costs.
Jeremy Helson says shore-bound vessels would be costing Sealord, Independent Fisheries and Maruha Nichiro tens of millions of dollars.