NZ ratifies South Pacific Fisheries Convention
8 June 2011
New Zealand today ratified a new Convention to manage fisheries in the South Pacific, says Foreign Minister Murray McCully and Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley.
Under the Convention, a new South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) will administer an area of ocean from Western Australia to the waters off South America, covering the entire Tasman Sea and South Pacific Ocean.
New Zealand was the first country to sign the Convention and is the fifth country to become a Party. The Convention will enter into force when eight nations have completed their domestic ratification processes.
Mr McCully says the Convention completed a comprehensive framework for sustainably managed South Pacific fisheries. Highly migratory species such as tuna are already managed by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
“SPRFMO is designed to help maintain economic security and stability, given the importance of fisheries to the Pacific’s regional economy. New Zealand is well aware that these stocks are subject to increasing demand and pressure.
Mr Heatley says this is an exciting step towards managing one of the world’s largest areas of ocean under a single regional fisheries management organisation.
“It will manage fish stocks that are not highly migratory including commercially sought after orange roughy, blue nose, and jack mackerel,” he said.
“We need to protect these important fisheries for future generations. Ratification shows our strong commitment to sustainable management and ensures we have an important influence on the work of SPRFMO.”
“A range of controls will manage the fisheries, help ensure their long-term sustainability and address any adverse effects on the environment,” Mr Heatley said.
Both Ministers said they were confident enough countries would become party to the Convention so that it would enter into force by the end of 2012.