Introduction of species into Quota Management System
Initially, in 1986, 27 species were introduced into the QMS. Today there are 97 species in the QMS. (For information on these species see Status of Fisheries.) Many species were introduced into the QMS in the last several years. In 2001 the Ministry embarked on a programme to introduce some 50 species into the QMS over a three year period. (For information on species recently introduced to the QMS see QMS Introductions documents below)
When a new species comes into the quota system, a catch limit for the species is set. Quota shares in the commercial fishery are then allocated. A complex series of rules operate to determine individual allocation of quota. The rules relating to quota allocation have changed over time.
Traditionally, quota for a species is allocated to fishers based on the amount of catch they took within a specified period of time. Where reported catch is less than the initial commercial catch limit that was set, then the remaining quota went to the Crown. A process is undertaken by the Ministry to sell the remaining available quota by way of a tender process. (For information on recent Crown tenders of quota, see quota tenders). Where the Crown remains in possession of quota it can also choose to tender the ACE generated by that quota. (For information on recent Crown tenders of ACE, see ACE tenders).
Recent changes made by Parliament mean that quota in all species introduced into the QMS from 1 October 2004, other than some limited exceptions, will be subject to a tender process. No quota will be allocated on the basis of catch taken by a fisher.
Events leading up to the QMS
Many fisheries in the world are considered to be in a state of crisis. The main cause is too many commercial vessels competing for the available fish. Few or ineffective limits on commercial access results in increasing numbers of fishers and existing fishers expanding their operations, buying more and bigger boats, fishing longer and more often, so to maximise the share of the resource they can take. This results in a “race for fish” which is inefficient and pays little attention to the need to ensure the actual amount of catch taken is sustainable.
In New Zealand from the early 1960’s through to the mid-1980’s, prior to introduction of the quota management system, this problem emerged in our fisheries. Government subsidies and high export prices had attracted more and more fishers with better boats and gear. The response was to use management controls (commonly referred to as “input controls”) as a way of managing our fisheries. For example, there were restrictions on the number of fishing licences that were issued in certain fisheries, the number of boats that could fish, net size and so on. However, this type of control was not very good at conserving fish stocks, because modern technology always found a way to catch more fish within the existing rules.
By the late 1970’s the inshore fisheries had reached a state of crisis. Species such as snapper, scallop, and rock lobster were overfished. In the deepwater new fisheries were being found and developed. However, the resource was being taken by overseas fishing vessels, mainly from Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Russia.
In response to this situation, a system controlling outputs - the quantity of fish caught – known as the quota management system was introduced.
01 October 2007 Introduction Documents
01 October 2006 Introduction Documents
- Initial Position Paper: Setting of Sustainability Measures and Other Management Controls for Stocks to be Introduced into the Quota Management System on 1 October 2006
( tac ipp.pdf - 290kb)
- Consultation Document: Introduction of New Stocks into the QMS on 1 October 2006
( 1 oct 06 ipp.pdf - 227kb)
- 45KB) Minister's decision letter for stocks being introduced into the QMS on 1 October 2006
( minister letter qms 2006.pdf - 45kb)
- Final Advice Paper for the Introduction of New Stocks into the QMS on 1 October 2006
( final advice introduction new stocks 2006.pdf - 272kb)