Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 10 March 2017

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

Captain's Blog

March 10, 2017

Fishing Accord in Hawke's Bay

Peace has broken out between commercial and recreational fishing interests in Hawke’s Bay.
Two summers ago recreational fishers were claiming they could hardly catch a kahawai and it was all the fault of alleged over fishing by the commercial sector.
That led to a series of meetings between the various parties, including Ministry for Primary Industries fisheries staff, and the adoption of several significant measures to enhance the fishery.
A large area in the bay, termed the Springs Box, covering 237 square kilometres was ruled off limits for commercial fishing over the last two summers.
Fishers agreed not to trawl or long line in the area for three months from December 1, reserving it for boaties. There was an exception for trolling for albacore.
In addition, the existing regulated line restricting commercial fishing inside Cape Kidnappers to the southwestern end of the Wairoa Hard, which takes in the Napier foreshore, was significantly extended in the case of larger trawlers.
Further, the  Lachlan Ridge and Lachlan Banks, which are popular with boaties venturing further out, were closed to commercial hapuku and bass fishing from December 2015 to end September 2017.
In return, the recreational lobby group agreed to drop the bag limit from five to two and avoid the central part of the ridge.
Fisheries Inshore NZ is now involved with a wider group that includes iwi, recreational fishers, Department of Conservation and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to develop a plan for wider management of the coastal marine area that includes land impacting on fisheries.
FINZ chief executive Dr Jeremy Helson said the measures had changed the conversation.
“This process has provided an opportunity to publicly demonstrate responsible fishing practices and our commitment to working with the recreational sector in a shared fishery,” he said.
“Also, the connection with local government to improve land use will potentially improve the health of the marine environment.”
LegaSea has responded positively to the commercial initiatives, a marked change from its previous angry rhetoric.
It likened initial meetings two years ago between recreational, commercial and MPI to visiting the dentist for a tooth extraction – not much communication and just as painful.
“We are working in a great space with the local commercial fishers,” LegaSea Hawkes Bay said on its Facebook page.
“We charged them with sorting their own and to their credit they have taken on that responsibility.
“It may be a little early to claim credit but it is great to see good sized snapper coming in off the beach from Te Awanga to Whirinaki. There has been some limits taken in just hours, which has not been heard of for many, many years.”
Napier Fishermen’s Association president Mike Terry added to the conversation.
“It’s great to see some positive things being done on both sides,” he said. “The time has come to stop slinging mud at each other. That gets nobody anywhere, just a lot of ill feelings toward each other.”
“Time well spent building relationships and understanding everybody’s needs,” Bob Gutsell added.
Recreational fishers are happy too.
“Been doing well on snapper in the Te Awanga area this season,” Blair Whiting confirmed. “Even caught some large gurnard in close. No big snapper yet but I’m waiting for that big run. Good to see the closure is having an effect on stock.”
“Has been the best snapper fishing ever this year off TA (Te Awanga),” said Brad Pinker. “Good solid fish since October. Good job. Keep up the awesome work.”
LegaSea also conceded it could have done a better job of spreading the word that the central zone of the popular Lachlan Banks was a no-fishing area for both commercial and recreational sectors.
“We also need to convey that this is a voluntary measure but if we want the commercial guys to step up, which they are, then so do we.”
And there was a plea not to be too greedy.
“While there have been some great bags taken by some over the last few months, please remember there are limits.”
The turnaround from previous years could hardly be greater.

Tuna sells for 930k in Japan

Oma, a small fishing town in Japan, notorious for its prized tuna, has claimed another record at the famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo.
A 212 kg tuna has sold for $936,700, the second-highest price on record.
The highest-price for a tuna was more than $1.8 million, sold in 2013.
Sixty five-year-old Masahiro Takeuchi, a long line fisherman, caught the tuna and has been successful over many years.
“I thought it would fetch a high price because of its shape and fat,” Takeuchi said.
The tuna was caught in the Tsugaru Strait and fish from the area fetch about 20 percent more then other catch.
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New Chairman for Te Putea Whakatupu Trust

Willie Te Aho has been appointed as the new chairman for the Te Putea Whakatupu trust.
The trust was set up in 2004 under the Maori Fisheries Act to distribute $20 million to promote Maori education, training and research in the fishing industry.
A new strategy has outlined objectives to support Maori in urban regions, as well as proposed changes to the trust's structure.
"We have set ourselves an ambitious target of four years to achieve this. The next 12 months will be focused on engagement and consultation with our Māori people in urban environments”  said Te Aho. 
Te Aho said the trust is inclusive of Māori in urban environments and includes those who identify with Iwi as well as those who do not.
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In the Media

Honour for fishing industry pioneer

The Country (5 March) Pam Williams, who established Whanganui Seafoods in 1965, will be among the laureates inducted to the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame at a gala evening in Auckland on July 27.
The inductees are recognised for their contribution to the social and economic development of New Zealand.
Williams took the company from one trawler in the mid-1960s to the sixth biggest quota holder, and on the Deloitte 200 largest privately owned companies.
The company was eventually sold to Sanford in 1994, a decision Williams said she would later regret.
Williams said those involved were Whanganui people and staunchly patriotic and they never considered moving the company to a bigger port.
"It wasn't easy - certainly for the ships using the port it was difficult and at times it seemed almost impossible, but we managed to work around it," Williams said.
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Award-winning journalist praises government stamp down on sea slavery

Dominion Post (8 March) New Zealand's efforts to rid our waters of slavery on fishing vessels is being applauded by a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist.
Ian Urbina was in Auckland on Wednesday to discuss his 2015 New York Times series 'The Outlaw Ocean.'
The series covered the different type of illegal activities happening on the high seas, from arms shipping to slavery.
In 2010, the Korean fishing boat Oyang 70 sunk off the Otago coast killing six men.
A report on the incident revealed poor conditions for fisherman in New Zealand waters, forcing the Government to make law changes.
The result was the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill which requires all vessels operating in New Zealand's EEZ to be flagged as a New Zealand vessel and subject to our labour laws.
Urbina said it was uncommon for a government to step up in the way New Zealand had following the revelation of abuse on Oyang 70.
"The issues weren't affecting New Zealand citizens, they were doing something on the behalf of human rights in general," Urbina said.
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Women in Seafood celebration in Nelson

Nelson Mail (8 March) As International Women's Day kicked off worldwide on Wednesday, women from the seafood industry celebrated with a breakfast in Nelson.
Sixty women from throughout the country congregated in Australasia's largest fishing port, hearing from guest speakers about how they had made it in the industry.
Fleur Sullivan of the world famous "Fleur's Place" was the guest speaker and spoke of her pride in the industry and the impact her restaurant had on the small Moeraki community.
"The fishermen that used to come into my restaurant – they weren't proud of themselves, they were used to putting their fish in a fridge and having it picked up by [fishing companies]," Sullivan said.
"With my restaurant ... they'd come in for a beer and have people ask them 'what do you guys do?', and where they used to say 'oh, muhm muhm muhm', now they say 'I fish for Fleur."  
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