Managing in a changeable environment
New Zealand is not immune to global trends. A number of political/legal, economic, sociological and environmental factors, such as climate change, trade barriers, and the lack of an integrated approach to managing ocean resources, have an impact on the Ministry and its services. These are taken into account when the Ministry undertakes its annual planning process. They have also been included in the development of the Fisheries 2030 Strategy. The major influences are discussed in the following paragraphs.
Delivering government services efficiently and effectively, and ensuring they represent value for money is critical to the achievement of Government priorities to grow the New Zealand economy and deliver greater prosperity, security and opportunity for all New Zealanders.
Minimising government costs will mean a reduced impact on the commercial fishing sector, creating the potential for the sector to improve its earnings, employment prospects, and its value to New Zealand. A Ministry delivering effective and efficient services, and with decisions being made on the best information available, will also promote value for the amateur sector.
Fisheries are a significant export earner for New Zealand and it is important that fisheries continue to be managed in a sustainable manner. Sustainability is, and will remain, a key issue, with markets and environmental groups increasingly demanding proof that fisheries are being managed sustainably and that catches are not having a negative effect on future viability.
Increases in population in the developing world and changes in eating habits in the developed world mean that fish is becoming a more valuable food source. The desire to harvest increasing quantities needs to be balanced against the need to set and enforce limits to ensure sustainability. New Zealand’s fisheries are well managed and we need to ensure that this highly valued commodity is not overfished or subject to illegal fishing activity. This may require innovative approaches from the sector.
Climate change has the potential to pose challenges for fisheries management and fishing activity. Changes in coastal waters may also have an effect on marine aquaculture.
There is increasing pressure for transparency in fisheries management decision making, but also increasing complexity around the legal framework in which fisheries management is required to operate.
The Ministry already interacts with its stakeholder groups and also with a number of government agencies who have an involvement in fisheries-related issues. These interactions are a key source of information and feedback on fisheries issues and become key inputs into the planning process.