2. STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK
This chapter describes the strategic framework for fisheries management and marine biosecurity. It discusses the principles underlying the Ministry's strategic framework.
To maximise the value New Zealanders obtain through the sustainable use of fishery resources and protection of the aquatic environment, we have adopted the following key principles as the basis of our strategic framework for managing fisheries:
Ecological sustainability: All harvesting should occur within constraints that ensure the use of the resource is ecologically sustainable and the adverse impacts of fishing on the environment are prevented or managed.
Treaty of Waitangi: Fisheries should be managed in a manner that recognises the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and delivers on the Crown's statutory obligations to Mäori under Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992 and Fisheries Act 1996.
Efficient resource use: Fisheries should be managed in a manner that enables New Zealand to obtain the best value from our fisheries.
Ensuring the integrity of management systems: In order to achieve the other three components of the framework, the supporting management regime must provide quality statutory processes, sound decisions, efficient provision of services to high standards, superior information management and effective criminal law enforcement and prosecution services. A further important component of integrity of the regime is achieved through opportunity for stakeholder participation in statutory process.
A fisheries management regime that is effective and delivers the greatest value to New Zealand relies on an appropriate shared responsibility between the government and stakeholders.
MFish sees its role as delivering on the Crown's contribution to achieving sustainable fisheries in a manner that enables and encourages stakeholders to assume responsibility for their contribution to achieving sustainable fisheries. It is intended to facilitate this by continuing work to define relative rights and responsibilities of stakeholders, including setting out the constraints required by Government and increasing stakeholder accountability for environmental costs. Stakeholders will then be given opportunities to develop management arrangements within this framework to achieve the best outcomes.
Fisheries resources should be available for ecologically sustainable harvesting, to facilitate the long-term social, economic and cultural well being of all New Zealanders. But all harvesting should occur within constraints that ensure the use of the resource is sustainable and adverse impacts of fishing on the environment are avoided, remedied or mitigated.
In determining sustainability, account should be taken of the direct and indirect effects of fishing on the stock and its associated ecosystem. This includes consideration of the effects of fishing on associated or dependent species, biological diversity, and habitat. Fishing should not cause, or exacerbate, unacceptable long-term adverse effects on the integrity and productivity of the aquatic ecosystem.
In particular, biological diversity should be maintained and the long-term viability of associated or dependent species ensured. Adverse effects of fishing on protected species, such as marine mammals and albatross, should be minimised.
Management decisions should be based on the best available information and reflect a precautionary approach where information about the effects of fishing on the environment is uncertain. We should ensure that the activities of New Zealand fishers do not adversely affect fisheries resources and the aquatic ecosystem beyond our Exclusive Economic Zone.
Treaty of Waitangi
Fisheries should be managed in a manner which recognises the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and delivers on the Crown's statutory obligations to Mäori under the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992 and the Fisheries Act 1996.
Statutory obligations include recognising non-commercial customary fishing rights and management practices of tangata whenua, facilitating the input and participation of tangata whenua into fisheries management processes and allocating 20 per cent of new quota to Mäori when further species are brought into the quota management system.
Efficient resource use
Fisheries should be managed in a manner that enables New Zealand to obtain the best value from the use of our fisheries. As is the case in many natural resources, the best value from fisheries depends on the personal preferences and circumstances of individual users. Government policy should create opportunities for responsible choices. Enabling the best value from the use of our fisheries is encouraged through:
Establishing secure rights of access and management
Secure rights provide incentives for users to take a long-term interest in the viability of the resources and invest in fisheries enhancement. To encourage appropriate individual and collective responsibility within the fisheries sector, rights and responsibilities of all users should be properly specified and integrated with those of other users.
Use of effects-based management controls
To encourage innovation in fishing methods and continual improvement in minimising the adverse effects of fishing on the environment, management controls should be specified in terms of the desired outcomes or tolerable limits. Effects-based management controls include the total allowable catch and total allowable mortality of protected species. Nevertheless, input controls should be used where they are more cost-effective than effects-based controls.
Rights-holders should be given increased responsibility to manage fisheries collectively within appropriate sustainability parameters. Fisheries are a common pool resource, subject to the scourge of 'free riders'. Investment that benefits all users, in particular investment in the resource itself, is only likely to occur where individual users agree to act collectively.
Internalisation of costs
Fishers should face the full costs of their fishing activities, with procedures and policies aimed at internalising management and environmental costs. This contributes to efficiency in resource allocation by creating incentives for stakeholders to modify their behaviour to lower their overall costs.
Ensuring the integrity of management systems
In order to achieve sustainability, Treaty obligations and efficient resource use, the supporting management regime must provide quality statutory processes, sound decisions, efficient provision of services to high standards and superior information management.
An important component of integrity of the regime is achieved through opportunity for Mäori and stakeholders to participate in statutory processes. Maximum participation will result in greater awareness of fisheries management issues and increase Mäori and stakeholder ownership of management decisions. This is achieved through facilitating their involvement with statutory processes and encouraging stakeholders to assume responsibility through their development of fisheries plans and the provisions of services within standards set by the government. MFish will continue to develop processes to disseminate, and provide access to, information on fisheries and the aquatic environment.
Fisheries management services conducted by or on behalf of MFish should be cost-effective. This reduces the burden of management costs to both the fishing industry and taxpayers. MFish should only deliver services where it is the core role of the government or it is the most effective or efficient delivery agency. Structures and processes should ensure services are produced to the required standards and specifications, and appropriate monitoring and auditing is in place.
The security for stakeholders to exercise their rights, and their compliance with the regime, is underpinned by effective criminal law enforcement and prosecution services.
New Zealand's marine environment is unique, relatively pristine and vulnerable to invasion by exotic organisms. Organisms arrive in and move around New Zealand by a variety of means:
fouling (or encrusting) on the bottom of vessels, on flotsam, on structures like oilrigs, or animals like turtles
water, usually ballast water
in equipment such as ropes, barges and buoys
accidental introductions through aquarium trade (Caulerpa taxifolia is one example) and deliberate introductions (possibly for food/harvest).
New organisms in the sea can compete with native species, upset ecosystem balance, and reduce biodiversity. Conversely, they can provide valuable harvest species such Pacific Oyster. The effect of exotic species on New Zealand's environment and economy are, to date, poorly understood. However, overseas examples show that the impacts can be substantial.
The Biosecurity Act provides for an integrated system of biosecurity risk management comprising:
import controls by way of import health standards
border controls such as inspection, detection, interception, clearance of goods
monitoring and surveillance of New Zealand's status with respect to pests and unwanted organisms
pest management strategies to control or eradicate pests
emergency responses to incursions or spread of unwanted organisms.
Biosecurity decision-making must achieve a balance between the desire for open borders, to enable trade and tourism, and the desire to protect native and valued flora and fauna from pests, weeds and competitors. The paradigm underpinning biosecurity is risk management.
To achieve government's outcomes and values for biosecurity, in an environment of limited resources and imperfect information, an optimal allocation of available biosecurity resources must be sought. Implementation of a comprehensive and integrated risk management framework has been adopted as best practice by number of our trading partners in similar circumstances. During the 2001/02 year, MFish initiated development of a risk management framework for marine biosecurity. MFish will continue to be actively and constructively involved in developing the national strategy for biosecurity through Chief Executive involvement in the Biosecurity Council and direct involvement in working groups and any further processes. The Biosecurity Council has agreed to establish a sub-committee to oversee the completion of the strategy.
Work is well advanced on updating the five-year MFish strategic plan for the period 2003 to 2008 to guide our business planning, decision-making and the services we provide as our contribution to fisheries management and marine biosecurity.
The draft updated plan sets out a single goal for the fishery:
Maximise the value New Zealanders obtain through the sustainable use of fishery resources and protection of the aquatic environment.
This in turn is supported by three underlying strategies:
MFish is now at the stage where, after initial external consultation and staff input, we are in a position to start talking to and receiving external feedback on the draft updated plan. However before this, we will want to discuss the draft document with the Minister of Fisheries.
Enabling people to get the best value from the sustainable and efficient use of fisheries.
Protecting the health of the aquatic environment.
Ensuring the Crown delivers on its obligations to Mäori with respect to fisheries.