Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 10 July 2015



Friday Update is Seafood New Zealand's weekly email from our Chief Executive.

Friday, July 10, 2015



Sustainable fishing guided by
good science

We have all shivered and hunkered down against the weather this week.
But while you are cosily tucked up in front of a heater, spare a thought for the Amaltal Explorer crew in the deep south.
They have been experiencing 60 knot southerlies, snow and 6-8 metre swells.
“Down in Puysegur, bloody cold,” cameraman Mal Williams messaged.
“When it was snowing and 50 knots I thought it couldn’t get any worse. Wrong. Hail is definitely worse than snow.”
Mal is filming aboard the Talley’s trawler for Graeme Sinclair’s Gone Fishin programme, to be aired later in the year.
And he is revelling in it.
“Trying hard not to overshoot (too much film) but this is pretty darn interesting buddy,” he told Graeme.
The exploratory survey of orange roughy stocks off the West Coast and the Puysegur bank at the bottom of the South Island is pretty darn interesting for the scientists and the deepwater fishery as well.
The Ministry for Primary Industries issued a special permit allowing for a 50-tonne catch on the 16-day voyage.
The surveys are being conducted with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation which has developed an acoustic optical system (AOS) that is attached to the trawl.
Sealord invested in the deepsea technology to build a better picture of fish stocks and their environment.
The system can tell the difference between fish with gas-filled swim bladders such as alfonsino and cardinal and those without (orange roughy).
This makes assessment far more accurate than simply measuring biomass from hull mounted echo sounders.
Previous research has established the orange roughy fisheries have been rebuilding as a result of careful management and three are now being assessed for Marine Stewardship Council certification, the gold standard of sustainable seafood.
The two areas currently being assessed have not been fished for some years.
The first, area 7B off the west coast, has a nominal quota of 1 tonne and was last fished in 2006.
This abuts area 3B further to the south where industry has chosen to rest the Puysegur catch limit of 150 tonnes since 1996.
Fisheries closures, or areas to be rested by common agreement among quota holders, have proved successful in other areas where stocks fished down in the roughy boom of the 1980s and early 90s have recovered.
The survey so far has been encouraging with a big catch of 35 tonnes recorded in one tow.
Industry is optimistic that once the research is fully assessed it will provide evidence of increased biomass in both areas that will allow sustainable harvest to recommence, adding to the current total allowable catch in all areas of 8233 tonnes.
And while cameraman Mal is staunch, one of the Australian scientists became ill and the boat had to be diverted to Bluff to drop him off for treatment.
Take a concrete pill and harden up might have been the preferred advice given the expense of a diversion but health and safety comes first.
The survey also sparked a telling exchange on Gone Fishin’s Facebook page, demonstrating the strengths and weaknesses of social media.
“Ah, so gone fishing (sic) supports the raping of orange roughy then,” John Rhodes posted, thereby demonstrating the internet provides a platform for prejudice and ignorance.
But it is also self moderating.
Back came fisherman Tony Roach with a measured and informed response: “That area has been closed for 15 years mate, it was an exploratory trip run by MPI and NZ Deepwater Group to assess stocks. NZ orange roughy is very well managed with quotas in all management areas set at sustainable levels.”
Graeme Sinclair weighed in too.
“No John, I don’t support raping of orange roughy. That is why I am filming this trip, hoping to inform people about a well managed sustainable fishery. The mistakes of the past have been rectified in this fishery and many others. Strange as it may seem John, the commercial industry is not in the business of raping.”
Well said. The business the industry is in is that of long term sustainable fishing, guided by good science.



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In the Media



Bluff's oyster fleet on home stretch

The Southland Times (2 July ) reported on Bluff's oyster fleet being well on track to reach its 2015 quota, having already harvested about 80 per cent of the total target with two months remaining this season. Bluff Oyster Management Company spokesman Graeme Wright said while rough weather had often prevented boats from going out for days at a time, about 8 million oysters had been harvested since March. The boats went out this morning but before that had not been out since last Thursday, he said.
Click here for the full report.




Another iwi leases crayfish quota to Port Nicholson Fisheries 

Radio New Zealand (7 July) reported on another iwi, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, becoming the latest tribe to sign an agreement to lease its crayfish quota to Port Nicholson Fisheries. From April 2016, Aotearoa Fisheries' lobster division will join together with Port Nicholson Fisheries to export live lobster, making it New Zealand's second largest crayfish exporter. 
Click here for full report.




For sustainable Pacific fisheries

Radio New Zealand (7 July) reported on 17 Pacific region nations endorsing a new Regional Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries at a Forum Fisheries Agency ministerial meeting in Tuvalu. The plan lists strategies aimed at making Pacific fisheries the rising item on the national, regional, and global agenda. The director general of the agency, James Movick, said one of the aims is to increase the value per unit of tuna rather than increase the quantity of fish caught. 
Click here for the full report.




NIWA's Rob Murdoch wins Marine Sciences award




Scoop (9 July) reported on Dr Rob Murdoch, General Manager of Research at NIWA, winning the prestigious New Zealand Marine Sciences Society Award. The award was presented to Dr Murdoch for his outstanding contribution to marine science at the New Zealand Marine Science Society Conference in Auckland last night.
Click here for the full report.




The Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards is now accepting nominations from seafood industry businesses and individuals. The awards recognise and reward the Australian seafood industry’s top achievers across nine key categories, including fishing, retail, aquaculture, exporters, wholesalers and restaurants. There is also a Best Supplier (Interstate or Overseas) category in which two Kiwi businesses, New Zealand King Salmon and Finestkind, were highly commended last year. Submissions close July 17.


Click here to know more about the awards.




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