Feedback sought on changes to fisheries settings

Photography by: Getty Images


Fisheries New Zealand is seeking feedback on proposed changes to catch limits and other settings across a range of fisheries as part of its twice-yearly sustainability review.

The review is part of Fisheries New Zealand's regular review cycle for the fishing year beginning 1 October.

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"Every six months we review catch limits and settings across a range of fish stocks to ensure their long-term sustainability so that they can continue to be enjoyed by all Kiwis, now and into the future," said Emma Taylor, Fisheries New Zealand's director of fisheries management.

Taylor said there are 20 stocks around the country that have been selected in this review, including four tarakihi stocks in a separate consultation that started last week.

Proposals look at either reducing or increasing catch limits for the various stocks under review.

"Science and information are at the heart of fisheries management. We have developed our proposals using the best available information, which tells us what's happening in our fisheries and helps identify what course of action to take," said Taylor.

"Where information suggests more fish can be harvested sustainably, we look to increase catch limits. On the other hand, if stocks aren't as healthy, catch limits are reduced to help the fishery recover."

Some of the proposals also set out precautionary measures recognising the importance of these species in the marine ecosystem and ensuring they are managed sustainably.

"An example of this is our proposal to reduce allowances for harvesting bladder kelp, which we know is not widely taken but is also affected by other factors such as climate change and sedimentation," Taylor said.

"Bladder kelp plays a key role in health ecosystems and a reduction to the allowance would support the sustainability of this important marine species."

Once consultation closes, Fisheries New Zealand will analyse the submissions and make recommendations to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries to make a decision. Any changes to catch limits will come into effect from the new fishing year, beginning on 1 October 2022.

"We are also proposing standalone adjustments to deemed values for five fisheries. These are the rates fishers must pay if they catch fish outside their quota," Taylor added.

"Consultation begins today and we encourage everyone who has an interest in these fisheries to have their say. Submissions can be made online by 5pm on 22 July."

A separate consultation started last week on proposed changes to east coast Tarakihi catch limits.

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