The Ministry of Fisheries has the task of protecting and preserving our fisheries for the future, while ensuring that people today can continue to use, enjoy and benefit from them. As our Māori name states - we are the guardians of our fisheries.
New Zealand's fisheries reflect our heritage as fishers, as sailors, and as people who love that they live in a country where they can drop a line in the sea and catch fish, gather pipi or paua, or drop a pot to catch lobster.
New Zealanders expect that our fisheries will be managed in a way that ensures they continue to be sustainable, while ensuring that growth and innovation in this primary sector is fostered. They also expect us to manage the effects that fishing activities have on our marine environment.
Improvements in management and outcomes will not only rebuild and retain healthy fish stocks, but ensure that both people and the environment we share can benefit from this sound management.
This year has been highlighted by achievements against a number of fisheries objectives and outcomes. We made strong progress in developing strategic frameworks that will help us manage fisheries effectively and transparently, continued our research into sustainability and worked as part of the international community on a number of initiatives including a key role in the establishment of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation.
The implementation of settlement provisions under the Māori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004 has progressed. The last year also saw a range of innovative strategies introduced to deter poaching and black market activities, and increasing sector engagement and consultation.
On 1 October, we also marked twenty years since the introduction in 1986 of the Quota Management System, which is a cornerstone of New Zealand's fisheries management. The coming year will see us continue to improve on our record of engagement with fisheries stakeholders. Fisheries plans will become operational and we will make progress on managing shared fisheries. Our investment in the future of fisheries will continue.
We have a reputation as leaders in fisheries management and I trust that this too will continue.
Pursuant to section 39 of the Public Finance Act 1989, I am pleased to present my Annual Report on the operations of the Ministry of Fisheries for the year ended 30 June 2006.
Dr John Glaister