“New Zealand’s fisheries continue to perform well”, says Seafood New Zealand Chief Executive Tim Pankhurst. He was commenting on the latest Status of New Zealand Fisheries report published by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Around 83% of individual fish stocks of known status and almost 97% of landings are above or well above levels where their sustainability would be a cause for concern, he says.
“These figures are the result of a robust process and show that we are as good as or beyond the standard of the best in the world,” he says.
Each year MPI convenes a series of Fisheries Assessment Working Group meetings, open to anyone with an interest who wants to attend. Presentations are made at the meetings, combining the results of scientific research with catch and effort reports from commercial fisheries, data from the on-board observer programme and other information sources.
The information gathered through this process is summarised in two annual Fisheries Assessment Plenary reports and inform the annual fisheries sustainability review – the most recent review was announced last week by Primary Industries Nathan Guy.
As the Minister said in his statement announcing the review, the decrease in rock lobster limits in Wellington and Hawke’s Bay is supported by the industry based on its concerns, and is an excellent example of commercial stakeholders taking a long-term view of sustainability.
“New Zealand can be proud of its world leading fisheries management system underpinned by our 30-year-old Quota Management System.
“These results provide assurance that our fisheries are in good heart and through the prudent management we have in place will be there for generations to come,” says Pankhurst.
Did you know?
New Zealand earns $1.63 billion in seafood exports each year.
- 289,911 tonnes of seafood was exported in 2015.
- 659,552 tonnes of seafood is harvested from New Zealand’s waters each year.
- The NZ seafood industry supports up to 20,000 jobs.