Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 11 March 2016



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

Captain's Blog


March 11, 2016 



More engagement post submissions needed before drafting MPA Bill

Submissions on the Marine Protected Areas Act consultation document close today and it is clear the Government needs to rethink.
All groups agree on the need for marine protection, not least the seafood industry.
The health of the aquatic environment is the cornerstone of our business.
And just about all interested parties agree the Government is not going about extending marine protection in the right way.
Environmental groups – Forest & Bird, Environmental Defence Society, World Wildlife Fund, Pew – are particularly critical of the government’s decision to ignore marine protection in the Exclusive Economic Zone.
How can you protect marine biodiversity if the vast area from the 12-mile territorial sea boundary to the 200-mile extent of New Zealand waters is excluded?, they ask.
Many in the seafood sector are asking a similar question, and why the Benthic Protection Areas, initiated by the fishing industry and recognised by statute, that protect 29 percent of the EEZ were not given due weight.
New Zealand is not failing to meet biodiversity protection goals.
But if greater protection is the aim, the substantial areas that the fishing industry agreed not to trawl in, and is now banned from doing so, could simply be designated seabed reserves.
There are varying degrees of marine protection. BPAs are a form of MPA.
These 17 protected areas covering 1.24 million square kilometres encompass sub-tropical and sub-Antarctic waters and varied habitats to the east and west of the country across a range of depths.
The risk in the current unsatisfactory approach is that if MPAs are not implemented in a planned and integrated way in the EEZ, they may be politically driven under an ad hoc approach, with separate legislation for each.
This has occurred already with the proposed introduction of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, with the legislation being introduced to Parliament this week.
The creation of a vast fully protected zone around the sub-tropical Kermadecs is fine in principle and has drawn international praise and garnered kudos with the US in particular.
But the process was flawed, overriding Treaty rights and property rights without consultation or compensation.
The limited fishing activity around the Kermadecs, which did not include trawling, largely restricted to pelagic species like tuna, will now be banned.
Maori were granted access to fisheries resources as provided in Article Two of the Treaty of Waitangi. The currency of that settlement was fishing quota.
The Government is playing with fire if it elects to arbitrarily override those rights.
Marine biodiversity protection needs to be complementary to sustainable fisheries management, recognising the critical role of the Quota Management System.
The seafood industry also supports enhancing recreational fishing, provided that is not at the expense of the commercial sector.
However, that is quite a different objective from marine protection – it is obviously not a sustainability measure.
As such, the proposals to create recreational fishing parks in the Hauraki Gulf and the Marlborough Sounds do not belong in marine protection legislation.
They were election bribes wheeled out in the 2014 campaign without consultation or scientific basis and need to be considered in the context of the Fisheries Act.
That is the mechanism for sound management intervention, after due consideration of the outcomes sought, the supporting science and the range of management tools available. The current approach to fisheries management, as illustrated in the proposed recreational fishing parks, pits the recreational and commercial sectors against each other. This is unnecessary as we both want healthy abundant fisheries. Such “management” is simplistic, uneducated and divisive and is no way to nurture a valuable public resource.
Monitoring the recreational catch, starting with charter operators, which are fishing businesses, is essential to completing the QMS mosaic.
Recreational groups huff about their right to catch fish - and no one disputes that.
But instead of opposing reporting of their catch, they should be supporting it. That is the only way to properly manage the fishery. It is not logical to argue that this is the first step on the road to hell, in the form of licensing.
The fishing parks are but one aspect, albeit a distracting one, of a disjointed approach to marine protection that is not fit for purpose.
The seafood industry, supported by other sectors, is asking for a further round of engagement following the submissions cut-off prior to the drafting of a Bill.
What we have been presented with is not an adequate basis for drafting effective new law.
A clear articulation of the marine protection outcomes being sought and the principles that will apply would be a good starting point.

- Tim Pankhurst



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Upcoming Event



March 19

Festival ticket holders get free entry into the New Zealand King Salmon cooking marquee. There will be cooking demonstrations of Marlborough seafood dishes with Michael Van de Elzen (Kiwi Living NZ) and Chef - Mark Southon (Foodstore TV). Chris Fortune (Hells Kitchen winner 2003) will host a "Guess the Ingredients" competition, with the winner receiving a signed copy of Michael Van de Elzen's Cookbook "Fast".
Saturday, March 19, 10am onwards at the Havelock Domain.



In the Media




Kiwi seafood industry's bright future

Seafood Source (March 9) reported on New Zealand's enviable reputation for seafood quality, particularly its farmed fish and shellfish. The report traces the growth of New Zealand's aquaculture sector, from its small beginnings 40 years ago to a significant primary industry, sustainably producing Greenshell™ Mussels, King Salmon, and Pacific oysters. Read more




Southern Clams owner Roger Belton


Aquaculture in Otago Harbour

Stuff (March 9) featured seafood exporter Roger Belton in an article about his company Southern Clams being in business for 32 years, and his hopes for marine farming in Otago Harbour. "A harbour like this can have multiple uses and that's where we should be going," he said. "I firmly believe there are considerable possibilities and value for the City of Dunedin in diversifying its activities into aquaculture." Read more




A pot of fresh oysters with an opener shucking another in. Photo: Robyn Edie/Fairfax


Bluff oysters in the blood of
many Southlanders

Stuff (March 5) reported on how the Bluff oyster season was a big part of many Southlanders' lives. The article featured two men - oyster fisher Willy Calder and Barnes Wild Oysters manager Graeme Wright - who have been involved with the Bluff oyster sector for years. Calder said the leadup to oyster season was like waiting for Christmas. "I can't sleep the night before." For most of the year people in the oyster industry work their farms, go about other fishing or are retired. But for the five months between March 1 and August 31, oysters are their life. Read more 




Trident Systems' stand at the WWF Emerging MCS Technologies workshop in Auckland.


Trident Systems at Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop

This week MPI hosted the International MCS Network’s 5th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop in Auckland. MCS is the international acronym for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance of fisheries and the meeting focussed on bringing together fisheries compliance staff from around the globe. As host nation, the Ministry sponsored attendance by Pacific nations in particular. The meeting was largely a closed shop, but Trident Systems was invited to be present as a technology provider and Jeremy Cooper, chief executive of the Paua Industry Council spoke on PIC’s Data and Monitoring Unit for small Ships (DAMUS) system at an open session focussed on cost effective monitoring tools. Trident also participated in a pre-workshop meeting hosted by WWF International and focussed on emerging MCS technologies. Trident chief executive David Middleton’s presentation focussed on the collaboration required for technology to deliver fisheries management benefits, rather than the gizmos themselves.
Contact with the New Zealand seafood industry was increased during field trips, with Sanford hosting many attendees on a tour of Coromandel mussel farms. The weather cooperated and all involved reported very positive experience. Attendees will leave with good memories of New Zealand and the message that we intend to continue to be a world leader in fisheries management.




Request for Proposals - Innovation Fund

A request for proposals - innovation fund will be made at the end of March 2016. Proposals will be sought in two areas, those that will contribute significantly to the Challenge meeting its objective: “Enhance utilisation of our marine resources within environmental and biological constraints” and will complement the research already funded within the Challenge. The second area of proposals sought will specifically address Project 2.2.2 in the Research Plan “Methods to increase diversification in marine economies” and address how we can add value to the marine economy. Read more