Better manage the adverse impacts of fishing on the aquatic environment
What are we seeking to achieve?
The Ministry seeks to ensure that fishing activity occurs within environmental limits, in New Zealand and internationally. This includes ensuring the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems, including biodiversity, while providing for use and working to protect threatened marine species.
This outcome underpins the creation of greater benefits for all New Zealanders, and will not only ensure fisheries resources and a quality environment are available for all stakeholders, but will also advance New Zealand’s fisheries management reputation as being environmentally responsible and sustainable. It contributes directly to the four fisheries sector environment supporting outcomes.
How will we demonstrate success in achieving this?
Success will be gauged by the level of international and domestic recognition of the good management of New Zealand’s fisheries and aquatic environment. Quota owners achieving an increasing number of independently environmentally certified fisheries will contribute to that recognition.
Fish stock status will continue to be monitored, as will our performance against any relevant environmental standards. We will also consider the threat status of protected species and the estimated fishing-related mortality of those species.
What will we do to achieve this?
The development of environmental standards is a strategic priority of the Ministry. Specific projects include the development of a Seabird Standard to address the adverse effects of fishing on seabirds, and the development of a Benthic Impact Standard. The Ministry aims to have the seabird standard approved by the Minister with implementation occurring within the next 12 months. The benthic impact standard is expected to be completed and approved for implementation in 2011. The Ministry is also developing a Research Standard which seeks to improve and assure the quality of fisheries research. It is expected that the Research Standard will be finalised and released later this year. Performance monitoring will enable us to adjust our activities as needed to ensure we can deliver on this important outcome.