Maximise current benefits from the use of fisheries
What are we seeking to achieve?
Fisheries provide a range of benefits from a variety of uses, including customary, amateur, and commercial catch as well as non-extractive uses, such as viewing a healthy aquatic environment. This Ministry outcome focuses on how we can maximise benefits now, without compromising future benefits. It contributes directly to the four fisheries sector supporting outcomes for use, but also requires a balance to be reached with the environmental supporting outcomes, which relate to sustaining the capacity and integrity of the environment.
How will we demonstrate success in achieving this?
It is difficult to measure benefits across the whole of the fisheries sector because not all benefits are necessarily economic and therefore may be qualitative rather than quantitative. A range of factors that are beyond the Ministry’s influence also affect the benefits that can be gained from fisheries. These include the decisions made by individuals participating in each sector, the state of our economy, and the effects of climate change. While the Ministry may not be able to control these factors, we can help enable increased benefits in each sector and across sectors.
The Ministry’s success in contributing to maximising the benefits from the use of fisheries can be indicated by:
- increases in export returns
- real quota value increases (taking into account other influences such as fuel prices)
- the increase in value of aquaculture (both overall and by weight)
- the number of fish stocks that are near or above specified/agreed target levels.
Public perception surveys, such as the biannual Lincoln University study on public perceptions of the state of New Zealand’s environment, will also assist in identifying satisfaction with the fisheries management regime more generally and the qualitative benefits New Zealanders are gaining from the use of fisheries. The benefits achieved in customary fisheries are discussed in the following Ministry outcome relating to delivery of Government’s fisheries and aquaculture obligations to Māori.
What will we do to achieve this?
The Ministry will continue to provide advice to the Minister on sustainability and regulatory measures that is based on robust information and analysis.
We will develop National Fisheries Plans and assist iwi in developing Iwi Fisheries Plans for the start of the 2011/12 year. The National Fisheries Plans will identify management objectives for fisheries which take into consideration all user groups and which aim to maximise benefits from use of fisheries within environmental limits. The Ministry will effectively prioritise the services we provide to achieve those management objectives. For the year to 30 June 2011, five fisheries plans and annual operating plans will be developed.
To increase the information base on which our advice and management decisions are made, we will continue to facilitate fish stock assessments and undertake other initiatives to gather information. By 30 June 2011, the Ministry expects to have formal stock assessments for 117 fish stocks. In the next 12 months we will improve our understanding of amateur catch levels by developing and implementing charter boat reporting and research. In 2011/12, the Ministry will also pilot and then implement a methodology to improve amateur catch estimation.
If appropriate, more stocks may be introduced to the quota management system, and the Ministry will promote improved environmental performance. We will encourage environmental certification to enable the New Zealand seafood industry to respond to growing pressure for environmental sustainability.
The Ministry will use spatial allocation tools to deliver benefits for different stakeholders within the fisheries sector. These mechanisms include the formation of mātaitai reserves to recognise use and management practices of Māori in the exercise of non-commercial fishing rights. The Ministry will also facilitate recreational, customary, and commercial agreement on the location of significant “recreation-only” fishing reserves as a way of recognising recreational fishing needs.
We will continue to inform New Zealanders of their fishing rights and responsibilities, and enforce the rules and regulations when necessary to ensure the integrity of the fisheries management regime.
The Ministry represents New Zealand in international, regional and bilateral fisheries negotiations in order to advance New Zealand’s fisheries objectives, including access to both fisheries and markets. This supports the fisheries sector outcomes of being an internationally competitive and profitable seafood industry. We will continue our cooperation and capacity building work with Pacific Island countries to improve governance over fisheries at a national and sub-regional level in the Pacific for management purposes relating to fisheries access and allocation, and sustainability of the aquatic environment.
The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research has recently assessed policy advice prepared by the Ministry against established criteria. This included an overall assessment and a relative assessment against other agencies as well as recommendations for change. The Ministry will implement these recommendations, which include a capability development programme, ensuring effective quality assessment and assurance processes across the organisation.