CCSBT Catch Documentation Scheme Instruction Sheets: Information for MFish Trade Validators
The Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) is the regional fisheries management organisation responsible for the sustainable use of southern bluefin tuna. CCSBT adopted a finalised Catch Documentation Scheme in October 2009.
|Catch documentation generally refers to schemes that certify catch at or before the point of landing (e.g. verifying its origin, weight and species composition, as well as whether it was taken legally). This is usually in conjunction with trade documents that track the trade cycle of fish, and prohibit the entry of uncertified fish into the world market. Such schemes are generally put in place for high value products, where there is a risk of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.|
Key objectives of the Catch Documentation Scheme (CDS) for southern bluefin tuna are:
- To gain better information on total global catches of southern bluefin tuna, including fish that is exported as well as fish that is sold domestically;
- To provide a source of cross-checks for reported catch information (i.e. independent reports from exporters and importers, or from domestic sellers and domestic buyers);
- To help prevent illegally-caught fish from entering the market (because each individual whole fish will have a unique tag attached to it; CCSBT member countries and other participating states will not accept a whole fish into the market unless it has a valid tag);
- To collect additional scientific information to help with management of the stock.
Key features of the CDS:
- The CDS covers ALL catches of southern bluefin tuna by members and cooperating non-members of CCSBT – i.e. New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Africa, European Union and the Philippines (the main countries fishing for southern bluefin);
- The scheme applies to ALL commercially-caught southern bluefin tuna, including:
- all exports of southern bluefin tuna; and
- all southern bluefin tuna sold to domestic buyers
- The CDS has two main components –
- Tagging – every legally-caught southern bluefin tuna is tagged with a special tag; controls in the market place ensure that only legally-caught fish can be sold. Fishers are responsible for ensuring they have tagged all southern bluefin tuna they catch, with tags supplied by the Ministry of Fisheries.
- Catch documents: a form that is filled out when the fish is caught, and includes information on volumes exported, imported, and sold on domestic markets. In most instances Licensed Fish Receivers are responsible for filling out catch documents.
- There are two main forms – a Catch Monitoring Form and a Catch Tagging Form (a new form that collects information on individual fish, including lengths and weights).
For MFish authorised validators, your role under the scheme includes:
- The CDS applies only to SOUTHERN BLUEFIN TUNA. It is critical that the fish are identified correctly. For example, if a fish identified as a bigeye tuna is sent to Japan and Japanese officials identify it is a southern bluefin tuna, there may well be a problem getting the fish into the market, since it will not have the required tag or form. Please note also that Japan has a genetic testing programme in place for tuna imports. So, make sure you are able to correctly identify the fish – contact the Ministry of Fisheries if you want some more help or pointers on fish identification.
- Once you are confident you are dealing with a shipment of southern bluefin tuna, the validator’s role is to validate that information in the Catch / Harvest section is correct – particularly that the description of fish including weight and number of fish is correct.
- When validating the Catch / Harvest section, you should also ensure that the fish have tags attached to them* (see below for picture of tag).
- If you are satisfied, you will sign the form and stamp it with your MFish-issued stamp. You should not validate the form unless the fish are tagged as required.
- For fish that is to be exported, the Export section also needs to be validated. This includes checking that the fish in the shipment fits the description on the form (i.e. numbers/net weight).
- Please stamp each copy with your validator seal (not just the copy that goes with the shipment).
* This only applies to ‘whole’ southern bluefin tuna. A ‘whole’ fish includes ones where limited processing has occurred, e.g. fish that are gilled and gutted (GGT or GGO) are still considered whole and need to have a tag.
Additional tasks under the scheme may be carried out by authorised validators, or by other staff e.g. at the Licensed Fish Receiver (LFR):
- The Catch Tagging Form does not require validation, but you may also be involved in filling out the details on this form (or it might be someone else that you work with).
- The LFR completes the details on the form, including filling in the length and weight of each fish. A copy of this form is provided to the Ministry of Fisheries (it doesn’t go with the fish to market).
Download example catch monitoring form (PDF 352KB)
Download example catch tagging form (PDF 1.7MB)
Information on becoming an MFish authorised validator
Authorised validators must complete Unit Standard 17573 (Complete the documentation requirements for the Ministry of Fisheries Trade Information and Catch Documentation Scheme) and receive approval from the Ministry of Fisheries. Once approved, authorised validators are provided with a validator seal which is used to validate catch documents.
The Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna maintains a list of authorised validators. Shipments accompanied by forms validated by someone who is not on the list of authorised validators for New Zealand may not be accepted into importing countries.
The southern bluefin tuna tag
The southern bluefin tuna tags supplied to fishers by the Ministry of Fisheries look similar to the tag in the picture, although a different colour will be used each year (this allows for easy identification in the market-place). The tag used in 2010 was beige; in 2011 the tag will be green. Fishers are responsible for ensuring the fish is tagged securely and the tag will remain on the fish; different fishers may apply the tags slightly differently to achieve this outcome. The tag includes a unique identifying number and a CCSBT logo.
Questions? Contact the Highly Migratory Species team in the Auckland office of the Ministry of Fisheries, (09) 820 1990