Share your dive pics Win­ner!

New Zealand’s ex­ten­sive coast­line of­fers some fan­tas­tic div­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for free divers and those us­ing scuba. Re­gard­less of your mo­ti­va­tion for ex­plor­ing un­der­wa­ter, be it to put food on the ta­ble or gather a pho­to­graphic record of stun­ning un­der­wat

NZ Fishing News - - Our Underwater World - This month’s win­ner is Duane Hawkins.

For a num­ber of years this mag­a­zine has run a ‘Cray Cap­tures’ col­umn that in­vites read­ers to send in their ‘best bugs’ shots.

With a new prize spon­sor on board – Mares – this photo brief has been ex­tended to cover any image that de­picts the fun div­ing of­fers. We still want to see those great cray­fish cap­tures, but we’re keen also to get spear-fish­ing images, pho­tos of divers, their friends and family en­joy­ing kaimoana, and gen­eral un­der­wa­ter scenes.

All images should be at least 500KB or big­ger in size, and can be sent to grant@nz­fish­ with Mares Dive Pics in the sub­ject line.

Please in­clude a brief de­scrip­tion that re­lates to the ‘what, where, when and how’ of the image and in­clude your name, ad­dress and day­time con­tact num­ber.

A prize win­ner will be se­lected ran­domly from the images pub­lished each month, the lucky win­ner re­ceiv­ing a Mares prize pack that in­cludes a catch-bag, dive gloves and mask and snorkel, val­ued at $180.00.

The to­tal amount of ma­rine fish caught in New Zealand wa­ters be­tween 1950 and 2010 is 2.7 times more than of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics sug­gest, ac­cord­ing to the best es­ti­mate to date.

Un­re­ported com­mer­cial catch and dis­carded fish ac­count for most of the dif­fer­ence. Fish with lit­tle or no per­ceived eco­nomic value are rou­tinely dumped at sea and not re­ported, as is by-catch (fish caught along with the tar­get species – a com­mon and un­avoid­able oc­cur­rence) if un­mar­ketable, un­der the min­i­mum le­gal size, or the fisher has no quota.

An ex­tended es­ti­mate for 1950-2013 re­veals 24.7 mil­lion tonnes of fish went un­re­ported, com­pared to the 15.3 mil­lion tonnes re­ported.

The study is part of a wider New Zealand re­search pro­ject aimed at in­form­ing seafood in­dus­try ef­forts to be­come as eco­nom­i­cally and en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able as pos­si­ble.

“To main­tain sus­tain­able fish­eries and seafood busi­nesses them­selves, you need to know how much fish is be­ing caught,” said lead re­searcher Dr Glenn Sim­mons from the New Zealand Asia In­sti­tute at the Univer­sity of Auck­land Busi­ness School.

“There was al­ready strong ev­i­dence that we didn’t know this, be­cause the of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics are in­com­plete. Un­re­ported catches and dump­ing not only un­der­mine the sus­tain­abil­ity of fish­eries, but re­sult in sub­op­ti­mal use of fish­ery re­sources and eco­nomic waste of valu­able pro­tein,” he said.

The study is part of an in­ter­na­tional col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween 400 re­searchers which sought to fill the gaps left by of­fi­cial catch data. This land­mark, 15-year ‘Sea Around Us’ pro­ject is run out of the In­sti­tute for the Oceans and Fish­eries, Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia.

The global re­sults were pub­lished in the pres­ti­gious jour­nal Na­ture Com­mu­ni­ca­tions in Jan­uary. The New Zealand re­sults have now been pub­lished by the In­sti­tute for the Oceans and Fish­eries.

The catch sta­tis­tics sup­plied by New Zealand and other coun­tries to the United Na­tions’ Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­gan­i­sa­tion (FAO) do not in­clude il­le­gal or other­wise un­re­ported com­mer­cial catches and dis­cards. They also leave out or sub­stan­tially un­der-re­ported fish taken by recre­ational and cus­tom­ary fish­ers.

The New Zealand re­searchers drew on an ex­ten­sive body of doc­u­men­ta­tion, in­clud­ing: stock-as­sess­ment reports; peer­re­viewed lit­er­a­ture; un­pub­lished reports and in­for­ma­tion ob­tained un­der the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act; as well as 308 con­fi­den­tial in­ter­views with in­dus­try ex­perts and per­son­nel with first-hand knowl­edge of fish­ing and re­port­ing prac­tices. They com­bined this data with of­fi­cial catch data to sta­tis­ti­cally ‘re­con­struct’ a more com­pre­hen­sive, ro­bust catch es­ti­mate. The same method was used through­out the global se­ries of stud­ies.

The main New Zealand find­ings were: • New Zealand’s re­con­structed ma­rine catch to­talled 38.1 mil­lion tonnes be­tween 1950 and 2010, which is 2.7 times the 14 mil­lion tonnes re­ported to the FAO Since the Quota Man­age­ment Sys­tem (QMS) was in­tro­duced in 1986, the to­tal catch is con­ser­va­tively es­ti­mated to be 2.1 times that re­ported to the FAO Un­re­ported com­mer­cial catch and dis­cards ac­count for the vast ma­jor­ity of the dis­crep­ancy Recre­ational and cus­tom­ary catch was 0.51 mil­lion tonnes, or 1.3 per cent Only an es­ti­mated 42.5 per cent of in­dus­trial catch by New Zealand-flagged ves­sels was re­ported 42 per cent of the in­dus­trial catch was caught by for­eign-flagged ves­sels, which dom­i­nated the catch­ing of hoki, squid, jack mack­erels, bar­ra­couta and south­ern blue whiting – some of the most mis­re­ported and dis­carded species The find­ings also re­veal how the QMS, de­spite its in­ten­tions and in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion, ac­tu­ally un­der­mines sus­tain­able fish­eries man­age­ment by in­ad­ver­tently in­cen­tivis­ing mis­re­port­ing and dump­ing.

“A strik­ing find­ing was the ex­tent of mis­re­port­ing to avoid deemed-value penal­ties – at sea and on land,” said Dr Sim­mons. “This high­lights a weak­ness of the QMS, which re­lies on full and ac­cu­rate re­port­ing, yet, in prac­tice, in­cen­tivises mis­re­port­ing. Fish­eries man­age­ment and stock-as­sess­ment of­fi­cials must spend more time talk­ing and lis­ten­ing to the fish­ers them­selves, along with ob­servers and com­pli­ance of­fi­cers.”

The ev­i­dence shows the QMS is in need of a ro­bust crit­i­cal re­view, along with con­sid­er­a­tion of al­ter­na­tives to en­sure the lat­est in­for­ma­tion, pro­cesses and tech­nol­ogy are be­ing uti­lized, he said.

‘Im­prov­ing the trans­parency and re­li­a­bil­ity of fish­eries data re­port­ing is es­sen­tial,’ the re­searchers con­clude in the re­port.

‘The fu­ture sus­tain­abil­ity and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of fish­eries will de­pend on how the govern­ment ad­dresses the un­der-re­port­ing prob­lems, which have long been a cause of con­cern.’

Duane Hawkins snorkelled these two beau­ties in Chalky In­let, Fiord­land, while on a char­ter aboard Takapu.

Wood­end’s Richard Lucy send in this shot of his son Harry (five months) who has taken a dis­tinct lik­ing to kaimoana. The bug came from the Banks Penin­sula.

Dan Fisher with a large king­fish speared while free div­ing in Tas­man Bay in around 10 me­tres of wa­ter this sum­mer. The fish went straight into the smoker and made for great eat­ing.

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