New Zealand's world-leading fisheries management system to be completed in 2004
5 January 2004
The introduction of 36 new species into the quota management system (QMS) in 2004 means most commercially valued species will be included in New Zealand's internationally acclaimed management regime.
The implementation of the QMS was integral to New Zealand avoiding the massive over-investment in fishing vessels and gross over-fishing that has destroyed commercial fisheries in many parts of the world during the last three decades according to Ministry of Fisheries senior manager, Mike Arbuckle.
The QMS has also enabled New Zealand to protect the marine environment and the quality of recreational fishing. New Zealand is now one of the few nations in the world where citizens can go fishing close by coastal cities and towns and have a reasonable prospect of catching fish.
The face of the New Zealand seafood industry has changed dramatically since introduction of the QMS, Mr Arbuckle stated. Quota management has created an environment in which our fisheries have changed from high use of overseas vessels to a commercial resource owned by New Zealanders, and increasingly fished by New Zealand vessels using New Zealand crew. Significant development of more sophisticated marketing and branding of New Zealand seafood has also occurred.
The introduction of new species into the QMS offers an opportunity for more New Zealanders to become involved in a major local industry. Compared to other areas of primary production, such as farming, fishing offers a significantly lower entry cost. Considerable amounts of quota will become available to New Zealanders through an open tender process.
Mr Arbuckle said the QMS was introduced in 1986 and has since played a pivotal role in putting New Zealand's seafood industry on a sustainable and viable path that has enabled it to compete in the international marketplace.
The sector which was worth just $200 million in the 1970s yet now contributes over $1.5 billion in annual export earnings, employs more than 10,000 people and is New Zealand's fourth largest foreign exchange earner behind dairy, meat and forestry products. The seafood industry is poised to surpass the $2 billion mark in foreign earnings by 2010.
On a world scale, New Zealand makes up less than two percent of the seafood market. About 90 percent of all seafood caught here is exported.
Two thirds of current exports were untapped resources 20 years ago. Now they form the nucleus of a vibrant and growing sector. Crustaceans are particularly sought after in Asia, as are live crayfish and other shellfish in Japan while stocks like Hoki have big appeal in the United States and Europe. New Zealand's main markets include Australia, Japan, North America and Europe.
"While New Zealand is perceived to be small by global standards, of greater significance is that New Zealand fisheries are internationally recognised as a sustainable source of high-value fish products. That is not the case for all, or even the majority of countries," Mr Arbuckle said.
"Back in the 1970s prior to the introduction of the QMS, New Zealand's fisheries were without a quality, sustainable model. There were too many boats chasing too few fish and New Zealand was in danger of being over-fished, which had serious implications for the livelihood of many commercial fishers.
"The QMS ensures that our waters do not get over-fished and there is a plentiful supply to meet yearly and ongoing demands. The QMS also provides security of investment in fisheries against uncontrolled fishing activities."
"A further advantage is that the QMS is a relatively inexpensive management system. The ratio of net government expenditure on fisheries management to the annual landed value of the resource is just four percent in New Zealand. This ratio is low compared to the 1997 average of 17 percent estimated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
While New Zealand's QMS was perceived by some countries to be experimental in the 1980s, Mr Arbuckle said it is now recognised internationally as a highly successful fisheries management regime.
"Since the QMS was established, most stocks in which biomass and productivity data were well known are now above sustainable levels. The QMS is a proven platform for sustainable fishing, economic development, and the settlement of Maori Treaty claims."
Under the 1992 Deed of Settlement, Maori are allocated 20 percent of the commercial fishing resource as it is introduced to the QMS.
The system was started in 1986 when 28 species were brought into the QMS, and it has gained new momentum since the Fisheries Act 1996 was fully implemented in 2001.
In the past year seven species were introduced into the QMS, and the remainder will be introduced on 1 April 2004 and 1 October 2004.
The QMS continues to be the primary management system for New Zealand's fisheries. As at 1 October 2003, 62 species were managed within the QMS. By 1 October 2004 nearly 100 species will be managed within the QMS.
Species introduced into the QMS (1 April 2002 to 1 October 2004)
|1 April 2002
|1 October 2002
Sprat - 2 species
|Cockle (3, 7, Whangarei Harbour)
Kina (3, 4, 5, 7A, 7B)
|1 April 2003
||Scallop (Chatham Islands)
|1 October 2003
|Kina (1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 8, 9, 10)
Shortfin eel (Chatham Islands)
Longfin eel (Chatham Islands)
|1 April 2004
||Giant spider crab
King crab - 2 species
- deepwater tuatua
- frilled venus shell
- ringed dosinia
- silky dosinia
- triangle shell
- trough shell
- large trough shell
|1 October 2004
Kahawai - 2 species
Pacific bluefin tuna
Southern bluefin tuna
|Shortfin eel (North Island)
Longfin eel (North Island)
Pipi (Whangarei Harbour)
|Shortfin eel - 2 species|
*"Species" include all stocks introduced on the same introduction date.
**"Cumulative Species" refer to the introduction of remaining stocks into the QMS by the target date (1 October 2004).