Changes to fishery catch limits announced
25 March 2010
Ministry of Fisheries Chief Executive Wayne McNee has today announced changes will be made to the catch limits for a number of species in the quota management system; rock lobster (crayfish), southern blue whiting, southern bluefin tuna and five species of surf clam.
These decisions were made by Acting Minister of Fisheries Hon David Carter.
“The Minister carefully considered the best scientific and management information available as well as submissions received from customary, recreational and commercial fishers, environmental groups and the public before making his decisions,” Mr McNee said.
The fisheries affected and the changes that will be made are summarised within each pdf document.
Catch limits for three rock lobster stocks were reviewed, two catch limits will change.
Download the Rock Lobster Catch Limit Changes (PDF 41KB)
Hawkes Bay and Wellington (CRA4)
The total catch limit for the CRA 4 rock lobster fishery will increase from 461 tonnes to 610.625 tonnes from 1 April.
“The scientific research suggested the catch limit could have safely been increased by a greater amount but the Minister has decided to take a cautious approach” Mr McNee said.
The total catch limit for the CRA 7 rock lobster fishery will decrease from 209 tonnes to 104.5 tonnes from 1 April.
“The Otago rock lobster fishery is closely managed with ongoing monitoring of the fishery’s health and abundance. This enables the Minister to respond quickly to changes in lobster numbers to maintain a strong and healthy fishery” said Mr McNee.
The Minister has adopted a new tool, or ‘Management Procedure’, to guide the setting of total catch limits in the CRA 3 fishery.
In accordance with this new tool, the total catch limit of 293 tonnes will be retained for the new fishing year beginning 1 April.
Southern Blue Whiting
The catch limit for the southern blue whiting fishery around the sub-Antarctic Campbell Islands will increase by 15% from 20,000 tonnes to 23,000 tonnes from 1 April.
The Minister approved this increase due to a very large number of young fish entering the fishery following a highly successful spawning season three years ago.
“The scientific information showed a larger increase would also have been sustainable but after considering submissions from commercial fishers the Minister took a conservative approach to the increase’ said Mr McNee.
Download Southern Blue Whiting Catch Limit Increase (PDF 34KB)
Southern bluefin tuna
The Minister has approved an in-season increase in the catch of southern bluefin tuna from 420 tonnes to 532 tonnes. This increase will apply for the current fishing year which ends on 30 September 2010, after which the catch limit will revert to 420 tonnes. The increase will come into effect on 26 March.
There are two quite separate issues involved in managing southern bluefin tuna:
- One is the overall global catch which New Zealand has advocated strongly should be reduced.
- The second is how that catch is shared amongst the countries that fish for southern bluefin.
The overall global catch is the most important for ensuring the sustainability of the southern bluefin tuna fishery over the long term.
“New Zealand has been a leading voice on putting in place effective measures to manage southern bluefin and encouraging all nations to take action” Mr McNee said.
“This proposal attracted significant public interest, the Minister carefully considered all the submissions received during the public consultation as well as scientific information and management advice” he said.
Download Southern Bluefin Tuna In-Season Increase (PDF 26KB)
Catch limits in seven surf clam stocks have been increased following new research surveys on surf clam populations in two regions.
Five species are affected across seven different ‘stocks’ in two different Quota Management Areas. Four are located in Quota Management Area 2 (central east North Island), and three in Quota Management Area 3 (south east coast South Island).
In total an additional commercial catch of 690 and 261 tonnes in QMA 2 and QMA 3, respectively will be provided for under the new catch limits. The new catch limits will take effect on 1 April.
“Surf clam fishing is relatively new in New Zealand. The new catch limits will allow the potentially valuable surf clam fishery to develop, within stringent environmental limits” Mr McNee said.
Download Surf Clam Catch Limit Increase (PDF 16KB)