Departmental Output Expense – Fisheries Information
This departmental output expense covers research that is largely science based (stock assessment, environmental assessment), and other activities relating to gathering and analysing data about New Zealand’s fisheries to support decisions about sustainable utilisation, as well as the provision of information on the biodiversity of New Zealand’s marine environment.
Provide the information required to ensure the sustainable use of New Zealand’s fisheries resources, by scientifically evaluating:
- status of fisheries resources
- sustainable yields from fisheries resources
- the effects of fishing on the aquatic environment, including on the viability of associated or dependent species, and on biological diversity
- alternative strategies for achieving the desired level of yield while avoiding, remedying or mitigating adverse effects of fishing on the aquatic environment
- analysis of relevant cultural factors that may need to be included in the management decision process
- the specific measures needed to implement the appropriate management strategy.
Utilisation and sustainability of New Zealand’s fisheries resources measured
As an input into current and future fisheries management decisions, fisheries research needs are identified, projects undertaken and results reported to provide increased information on:
- estimates of biomass and sustainable yields for fish stocks
- effects of fishing on the aquatic environment, including biodiversity and bycatch species
- relevant social, cultural and economic factors that may be included in the management decision process
- non-commercial harvest levels.
The Ministry contributes to the maintenance of sustainable fisheries in New Zealand through research designed to increase information on stock status levels, and add to the body of knowledge used to advise the Minister of Fisheries on appropriate utilisation for future years. Research is undertaken on individual fisheries at a frequency necessary to ensure the stock is not decreased through overfishing, thereby maintaining its value, and to enable the Ministry to maintain the currency of the information.
Medium term research plans are reviewed and updated annually in consultation with stakeholders and form the framework for ongoing or new research requirements. New results from research programmes are presented to a number of Ministry-led working groups that convene to assess a range of fishstocks. Relevant results are used in providing advice to the Minister regarding sustainable yields from fish stocks. Technical details for each fishery are summarised in working group reports published annually in the Fishery Assessment Plenary.
The effects of fishing on the environment are largely addressed through the Aquatic Environment working group, but there is overlap with the biodiversity research programme and research programmes of other government agencies. The aquatic environment medium term research plan is also updated and consulted on with all stakeholders on an annual basis. The environmental research findings are reviewed and assessed by this working group. The Ministry intends to develop a plenary document that will provide a forum for summarising the relevant issues and progress made in the New Zealand context through research contracts.
For 2006/07, the Ministry has classified research projects into two categories with the intention of more fully utilising the research appropriation. Tier 1 projects are those that can be funded within the proposed budget levels. Tier 2 represents those that are unable to be funded, but which the research planning groups considered of a sufficiently high priority to be included in the consultation process, and undertaken in the event of tier 1 project costs falling below appropriations.
|By 31 August 2006, produce medium term research plans in accordance with the quality standards.
|By 31 December 2006, produce research proposals for 2007/08 in accordance with the quality standards.
|By 30 Novmeber 2006, produce a report form the Mid-Year Fishery Assessment Plenary in accordance with the quality standards.
|By 30 December 2006, produce a draft framework for an environment assessment plenary document in accordance with the quality standards.
||Produced by 31 December 2006.|
|By 31 May 2007, produce a report from the Fishery Assessment Plenary in accordance with the quality standards
|Actively manage the research budget to ensure that the funding made available from tier 1 projects not proceeding is applied to tier 2 projects that can be funded.
||Completed for 2006/07. All remaining tier 2 projects for 2006/07 were withdrawn effective 30 June 2007.|
The quality standards adopted for measures 1, 2 and 4 above are those defined in the document ‘Format and Content of Project Summaries and Medium Term Plans proposed by the Research Planning Group’ dated 9 July 2001.
The quality standards adopted for measures 3 and 5 above are those defined in the Fisheries Research Services 2003/2004 Tender Document: Part II: A – Appendix II B, Form 2 and Appendix III B.
Biodiversity of New Zealand’s marine environment estimated
In order to implement the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and support the environmental principles set out in section 9 of the Fisheries Act 1996, the Ministry has a number of research programmes in place to generate high quality baseline information. There are also some new programmes that initiate research into the functional role of different organisms in a range of habitats. Each programme has been carefully designed to progress our ability to identify key species, key communities and key habitats that contribute to the value of maintaining a rich and diverse marine environment, but perhaps more importantly to identify essential components without which the marine environment could not continue to sustain productivity. This work has implications therefore not only to biodiversity per se, but also to the overall health of the aquatic environment and the long-term sustainability of our fisheries. These programmes aim to improve our ability to:
- protect the richness and health of the marine biodiversity of New Zealand and the Ross Sea region
- ascertain the role of different organisms and habitats in maintaining the health and sustainability of our aquatic environment
- contribute to required information to set environmental standards under the Strategy to Manage the Environmental Effects of Fishing (SMEEF).
|By 31 October 2006, update the biodiversity medium term research plans in accordance with the quality standards (as defined in the document 'Format and Content of Project Summaries and Medium Term Plans proposed by the Research Planning Group' dated 9 July 2001).
||The biodiversity medium term research plan was completed in February 2007, in accordance with the defined quality standards, and was discussed at the Biodiversity Research Advisory Group meeting held on 8-9 March 2007.|
|By 30 November 2006, produce an evaluation of how biodiversity could be incorporated into the draft framework for an environment assessment plenary document.
||An evaluation of how biodiversity could be incorporated into the draft framework for an environmental assessment plenary document was produced before 30 November 2006.|
|By 28 Februay 2007, produce research proposals for 2007/08 in accordance with the quality standards (as defined in the document 'Format and Content of Project Summaries and Medium Term Plans proposed by the Research Planning Group' dated 9 July 2001).
||There will not be any prop0osals for 2007/08 as all exisiting funds are already committed to ongoing projects. Existing projects were reviewed at the Bidodiversity Research Advisory Group meeting held on 8-9 March 2007.|
Observer services provided
Observers provide an independent source for the collection of high quality information from fishing operations. This is a valuable input into the management of New Zealand’s fisheries resources, particularly the setting of sustainability levels and management controls.
Observer services are also used by external agencies (eg the fishing industry and the Department of Conservation (DoC)) to gather specific information for those agencies and as an input into their management requirements. Provision of observer services is based on the Ministry’s capacity to supply the requisite number of observers with the required skill levels to cover requests from internal and external sources.
|Information and/or data collected by observers throughout the year, in accordance with agreed client specifications.
||Client specifications include Bio-manuals, DOC specifications and Ministry of Fisheries Compliance specifications. Observers are issued with specifications relevant to each trip at the time of pre-trip briefing. Actual data collected is reviewed against the relevant specifications during the post-trip debriefing. The Observer trip performance assessment highlights, for further action, areas for future data collection improvement.|
|Observer coverage delivered for an average cost not exceeding $500 per day.
||The cost of observer coverage achieved in 2006/07 was $582 GST exclusive per day. This higher than target cost is due to a coverage shortfall of 1,666 days, resulting in an increased proportion of fixed costs per day.|
|Observer coverage (sea days) delivered to within +/- 10% of the agreed annual plan at either a species level or fishing area)s)/method level depending on client specification.
||The full year result for levied fisheries is 4,903 days against a plan of 6,481 days (-1,578 days, 76% of plan). The full year result for "permit" fisheries is 1,066 days against a plan of 1,154 days (-88 days, 92% of plan).|
|Clear and transparent processes are operated to identify variations to the observer annual plan, and communicate these changes to clients and stakeholders.
||Actual Observer coverage against plan was updated monthly and posted on the Ministry of Fisheries website. Stakeholders were advised by email of the availability of the monthly update.|
|Effective processes are in place to implement any changes required to the plan through the course of the operating year.
||Coverage was adjusted throughout the year in response to client requested changes in the coverage plan.|