NEW ZEALAND:Fisheries Department of New Zealand has started a consultation period on proposed changes to catch limits and other management settings for the new fishing year beginning on October 1, 2018.
These parameters are reviewed twice yearly by Fisheries New Zealand in order to ensure the sustainable use of fisheries resources, which requires an investment of more than NZD 20 million (USD 13.5 million ) in fisheries science per year.
"If the scientific information suggests more fish can be harvested sustainably, then we increase the catch limits. Conversely, if there are sustainability issues identified, we reduce catch limits," pointed out Director of fisheries management, Stuart Anderson.
"This year we are reviewing 32 stocks, compared to 18 stocks in 2017. Of the 32 stocks reviewed, increases to catch limits are proposed for 11 stocks, and decreases are proposed for 11 stocks. For the remaining stocks, changes are proposed to the deemed values paid by commercial fishers,” Anderson stressed.
The fisheries director explained that more stocks are being reviewed this year because the best available information, such as stock assessments and research survey results, suggested that changes could be made to address potential sustainability concerns or utilisation opportunities.
The stocks being reviewed include a number of fish stocks that are culturally important such as longfin and shortfin eels as well as some shared fish stocks that are important to a number of sectors, such as tarakihi, flatfish, pāua, and red gurnard.
"Combined with scientific information, feedback from the public will enable Fisheries New Zealand to provide the Minister of Fisheries with advice to assist him to make final decisions on what changes, if any, should be made," he concluded.
The consultation closes on July 27.