FISHERIES MINISTRY SUPPORTS INDUSTRY PAUA PLAN
26 September 2003
A paua industry plan for managing the paua fishery in the top half of the South Island during the upcoming fishing year has been accepted by the Minister of Fisheries, Hon Pete Hodgson.
Mr Hodgson has announced that, for the fishing year from 1 October, the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) for the paua fishery in this area (known as "PAU7", see map) will be kept at the current level of 187.24 tonnes, and he has endorsed the industry plan to actively manage the fishery within the constraints of the TACC.
Over the last two years the TACC for the PAU7 fishery was reduced by 30 per cent, to try to halt the decline in paua biomass, and improve the amount of paua above the minimum legal size of 125 mm.
"I am pleased the paua industry has accepted the challenge to become further involved in the management of the fishery," said Kim Drummond, Senior Fisheries Management Adviser at the Ministry of Fisheries.
"The good news is that the recent decline in the overall paua populations appears to be arrested. However the fishery is not out of the woods yet, as the number of large paua is likely to decrease unless additional steps are taken."
The industry's plan focuses on all PAU 7 quota owners retaining some quota at the start of the 2003-04 fishing year, and monitoring catch per unit effort of catches. The plan also includes steps to spread fishing effort away from heavily fished areas, a proposed survey next summer to provide additional information on the state of the fishery, and continuing with the voluntary closed area on the northern west coast to improve recreational fishing access.
The Ministry will continue to work with the paua industry to closely monitor the fishery's performance to ensure harvest levels are sustainable.
"Full compliance with the minimum legal size has become very important in managing this fishery", said Mr Drummond. "Fisheries officers will continue to enforce the size limit to ensure both commercial and recreational paua catches remain above the 125 mm limit."
"While there are no changes to the amateur fishing rules for paua, recreational fishers can play their part in improving the fishery by ensuring they stick to the minimum legal size and the 10 paua daily bag limit, as well as the voluntary 5 paua limit between Paturau River and Kahurangi Lighthouse."
The Fisheries Minister has congratulated the industry on the recent commencement of the paua reseeding programme for the Marlborough Sounds using locally sourced broodstock. He noted enhancement of paua stocks was practiced elsewhere in the world, and provided a potential means of supplementing wild stock management initiatives.
For further information please contact
Kim Drummond, Senior Fisheries Management Advisor, Ministry of Fisheries
Telephone 03 548 1069 / 0274 978 366
PAUA (PAU 7) - Marlborough