Commercial fisheries value cracks $4 billion
24 February 2010
New Zealand’s commercial fisheries are making a vital contribution to the economy, highlighted by today’s release of the Fish Monetary Stock account by Statistics New Zealand, which shows the value of commercial fisheries has passed $4 billion, Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley said today.
The Minister also announced that Patagonian toothfish will become the 99th species to be managed using New Zealand’s world class Quota Management System from 1 October this year.
The Fish Monetary Stock Account shows an increase from $3.97 billion to $4.017 billion between September 2008 and September 2009 with an increase of 47 per cent since 1996 ($2.7 billion).
“This growth in value is directly attributable to New Zealand’s effective fisheries management using the Quota Management System,” Mr Heatley said.
“Fisheries in many parts of the world are in decline through subsidies and overfishing brought about by poor fisheries management. New Zealand’s Quota Management System and careful fisheries management mean our commercial fisheries keep growing in value and will continue to bring in export earnings and help drive the economy,” he said.
The Patagonian toothfish fishery in New Zealand waters is at a very early stage with less than 50 tonnes of fish caught in New Zealand waters in the past 15 years.
“Patagonian toothfish has been over-caught in some parts of the world; we need to make sure any development of the New Zealand fishery happens in a sensible, responsible and well managed way,” Mr Heatley said.
“The Quota Management System is the best way to make sure this happens.
“Fishers will be able to get secure access to quota so they can develop fishing operations with confidence and the government can put in place sustainable catch limits and have confidence the fishery is being well managed.”