CONSULTATION ON THE PROPOSED OPERATIONAL PLAN TO MANAGE THE INCIDENTAL CAPTURE OF NEW ZEALAND SEA LIONS IN THE SOUTHERN (SQU 6T) SQUID TRAWL FISHERY FOR THE 2006-07 FISHING YEAR
Each year the Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) undertakes a process to develop and implement an Operational Plan to manage the interactions between the New Zealand (Hooker’s) sea lion and the southern squid trawl fishery (SQU6T). These plans are approved by the Minister of Fisheries in accordance with s 15(2) of the Fisheries Act 1996 and can include measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate the effect of fishing-related mortality on the New Zealand sea lion including setting a limit on fishing-related mortality.
The purpose of this letter is to invite you to provide your comments on the proposed Operational Plan for the 2006‑07 fishing year in accordance with s 12(1) of the Fisheries Act 1996.
The objective and features of the proposed Operational Plan are presented in the accompanying Initial Position Paper (IPP), prepared by the Ministry of Fisheries with input from the Department of Conservation.
All comments are to be received by Friday, 13 October 2006 and should be sent to Tracey Steel, Ministry of Fisheries, PO Box 1020 Wellington, or faxed to (04) 819 4601, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The features of the proposed Operational Plan are similar to those employed in past years. The Plan focuses on the use of a fishing‑related mortality limit to constrain sea lion mortalities caused by SQU 6T trawl fishing. This mortality limit reflects the dual requirements of the Fisheries Act to balance sustainability of the sea lion population with utilisation of the SQU 6T resource. The Act allows the Minister of Fisheries to close the fishery when the mortality limit is reached.
Key elements in the plan include the sea lion mortality limit, the strike rate used to estimate the number of sea lion mortalities based on tows undertaken, a discount factor to the strike rate applied to tows conducted with suitable sea lion exclusion devices (SLEDs), requirements for reporting both tows undertaken and sea lion captures, and provisions for monitoring fishing activity by MFish observers. There are no provisions for monitoring the actual in-season strike rate, nor are there requirements for tied down cover nets on vessels employing SLEDs.
If you would like to meet with MFish officials to discuss the IPP during the consultation period, please contact Jim Cornelius (e-mail email@example.com ) at your earliest convenience such that a meeting can be arranged.
Finally, I note that all submissions received on the proposed Operational Plan are publicly available under the Official Information Act 1982. Should any person or organisation wish for any information contained in their submission to be withheld under the Act, the grounds for withholding the information must be provided in the submission
Acting Senior Fisheries Management Advisor
Ministry of Fisheries
Download the IPP (775KB)