Min­istry Note­book Up­com­ing fish­eries con­sul­ta­tions

Each year the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) re­views catch lim­its and man­age­ment con­trols to make sure we are man­ag­ing fish­eries to best pro­vide for use, while en­sur­ing the long-term sus­tain­abil­ity of these im­por­tant re­sources.

NZ Fishing News - - Ministry Notebook -

These re­views use sci­en­tific and other fish­ery in­for­ma­tion to iden­tify the stocks which may need changes ahead of the new fish­ing year. Once the group of stocks for re­view has been iden­ti­fied, MPI pro­duces con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ments out­lin­ing what man­age­ment op­tions could be con­sid­ered for in­tro­duc­tion. These doc­u­ments are pub­lished on the MPI web­site so in­ter­ested peo­ple can pro­vide feed­back.

Some of the fish stocks be­ing con­sid­ered for re­view for the Oc­to­ber 1, 2016 fish­ing year in­clude PAU7 (paua in Nel­son/marl­bor­ough), SNA7 (snap­per in Nel­son/marl­bor­ough and the West Coast) and BNS 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8 (bluenose around the whole coun­try ex­cept for the Ker­madec area). This list is not de­fin­i­tive, and some stocks may be dropped and oth­ers added as they are pri­ori­tised.

At the top of the South Is­land, the lat­est sci­en­tific in­for­ma­tion for PAU7 in­di­cates the stock is at a low abun­dance, and mea­sures are re­quired to re­build the fish­ery. The com­mer­cial fish­ery has vol­un­tar­ily not fished a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the com­mer­cial catch limit over the last four years to sup­port this re­build. How­ever, the re­build has slowed and stronger ac­tion is re­quired to in­crease abun­dance in the fish­ery. Meet­ings with groups rep­re­sent­ing var­i­ous sec­tors have be­gun, and will con­tinue over the next few months, dis­cussing in­for­ma­tion on stock sta­tus and op­tions to en­sure a healthy fish­ery for all.

The lat­est sci­en­tific in­for­ma­tion in­di­cates that snap­per within the SNA7 area has in­creased since 2009. The in­crease in snap­per num­bers has led to in­creas­ing catches for all sec­tors, to the point where the TAC is now likely be­ing ex­ceeded by all sec­tors. SNA7 is a key shared fish­ery at the top of South Is­land and recre­ational fish­ers take a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of the over­all catch.

In line with our recre­ational ini­tia­tive for these im­por­tant fish­eries, we have brought to­gether a multi-sec­tor group of recre­ational and com­mer­cial fish­ers for SNA7. They will con­sider if any changes may be re­quired, as we did with blue cod in the Marl­bor­ough Sounds. This group has been meet­ing since the be­gin­ning of 2016. They held a se­ries of pub­lic drop-in in­for­ma­tion ses­sions in April to present the lat­est in­for­ma­tion on SNA7 and dis­cuss the fish­ery prior to con­sid­er­ing if any changes will be re­quired.

Bluenose stocks (BNS 1, 2, 3, 7, 8) are cur­rently un­der a re­build plan which be­gan in 2011. This in­volved a three-year phased re­duc­tion to catch lim­its across the 2011-14 fish­ing years. Af­ter the sec­ond re­duc­tion in 2012, new data in­di­cated a growth in stock abun­dance. Catch lim­its have re­mained at that level while new in­for­ma­tion has been gath­ered on the fish­ery. MPI is con­sid­er­ing this new in­for­ma­tion and will make a de­ci­sion soon about whether man­age­ment

changes are nec­es­sary for the com­ing year.

MPI has also been work­ing with com­mer­cial and recre­ational fish­ers on op­tions for re­build­ing the south­ern scal­lop fish­ery (Nel­son/marl­bor­ough, SCA7), which is cur­rently at a low point. If re­viewed this year, con­sul­ta­tion will oc­cur on po­ten­tial mea­sures over the next few months and will fol­low a sim­i­lar ap­proach to that for SNA7.

If changes are ul­ti­mately rec­om­mended for these fish­eries, fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion will oc­cur later this year. These are key shared fish­eries, so if changes are rec­om­mended, it is im­por­tant that the gen­eral pub­lic un­der­stands why they are needed and gives its sup­port.

Keep your eye on the con­sul­ta­tions sec­tion of the MPI web­site for more in­for­ma­tion on PAU7, SCA7 SNA7, BNS 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8, along with other pro­pos­als for Oc­to­ber 2016, or email rec­fish­ingteam@ mpi.govt.nz to let us know which ar­eas you would like to be kept up­dated on.

Man­age­ment of most of the coun­try’s bluenose fish­eries is com­ing up for re­view.

MPI has been work­ing with fish­ers on op­tions for re­build­ing the south­ern Nel­son/marl­bor­ough scal­lop fish­ery.

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