NZ Bluefin Tuna fishery to be closed on Saturday
25 June 2003
The Ministry of Fisheries is closing the southern bluefin tuna fishery at 11.59pm (23:59) on Saturday, 28 June 2003 until the end of the fishing year on 30 September 2003 because the catch limit is about to be filled.
New Zealand's quota of southern bluefin tuna is 387 greenweight tonnes for the current fishing year. This is set under a regulation that gives effect to New Zealand's agreement under the Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna.
The southern bluefin tuna fishery in New Zealand is based on a seasonal migration of this tuna species through our waters. This season the fishery had a later start than normal. Fishers have reported that the season was running about a month behind the normal pattern.
Senior Fisheries Management Advisor, Arthur Hore said that the Ministry has been monitoring the catch of southern bluefin tuna since the season began. The catch limit is fished competitively and the Ministry's task is to use trends in reported catch and predicted trends to establish when the catch limit is likely to be reached.
This task is assisted by the cooperation of the industry in providing weekly and daily landing reports and by fishers who assisted with information and advice about how the season was progressing.
Recently catch rates in the southern bluefin tuna fishery increased substantially and based on current catch levels, it is projected that the catch limit will be filled by Saturday, said Mr Hore.
For further information please contact:
Arthur Hore, Senior Fisheries Management Advisor
Ministry of Fisheries, Auckland
Tel. (09) 820 1990