Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 14 July 2017

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

Captain's Blog

July 14, 2017

Ill-conceived recreational fishing parks require further consultation

  This time three years ago the Government announced the surprise creation of two recreational fishing parks.
  There was no consultation with the seafood industry, no policy analysis, no cost-benefit study and no impact assessment on the move to ban commercial fishing in the inner Hauraki Gulf and the Marlborough Sounds in favour of recreational only fishing.
Three years on in the midst of another election campaign, the proposal appears to have been quietly parked.
With Parliament set to adjourn in August ahead of the campaign proper leading up to the September 23 general election, there is no sign of the proposed Marine Protected Areas Act that would sanction the parks’ creation.
  Environment Minister Nick Smith has conceded as much, saying last week the policy was still being refined.
“The Government remains committed to a recreational fishing park in the Marlborough Sounds,” he was reported as saying after a meeting with Marlborough Marine Futures, which is developing its own proposal for a marine park in the Sounds.
 “Our plan remains for legislation but we are entering the process for further consultation to ensure we get the detail right.”
The Government deserves kudos for that approach but it need look no further for insight than the numerous submissions already received on a flawed concept that even the recreational sector and environmental groups do not support.
Neither did Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright in a critical response last year to the proposed MPA legislation.
She warned that recreational bag limits may need to be reduced and/or size restrictions tightened in the Gulf given Auckland’s rapid population increase and the “tens of thousands of boats” that fish there already.
“Recreational fishing parks are more likely to be successful and to integrate better with other marine protected areas if designed in a collaborative way, rather than by the stroke of a pen in an Act.
“Enacting one-at-a-time ad hoc legislation is not the way to ensure the development of a representative integrated network of MPAs.”
The parks, if adopted, would also drive a number of small scale fishers out of business.
That includes D’Urville fishermen like Craig Aston and Lindsay Elkington, whose families have fished those waters for generations, and Piako Pete at Thames who nets flounders and has a popular retail outlet.
  None of them are in  conflict with recreational fishers and all fish within the bounds of the Quota Management System.
Recreational fishing parks were designed to catch votes.
They are not a conservation measure and in the case of snapper in the Gulf, will merely displace catch effort.
And even those being wooed were not convinced.
Is banning all commercial fishing in the inner Gulf as part of the new MPA going to achieve abundance, recreational lobby group LegaSea asked.
It answered: There are small, commercial family operations that supply the local market and do little damage to the fishery. Overall these guys tend to do a good job … so why throw a few small-scale operators under the bus for so little benefit?
Perhaps Nick Smith has asked himself the same question.

Ocean Bounty

This week Ocean Bounty visits the Hauraki Gulf. 
With a large population of recreational anglers, New Zealand's biggest city and a market hungry for seafood right on the Hauraki Gulf's doorstep, the fishery is the country's most popular and controversial.
Tune in to Three at 5pm on Sunday to check it out, and if you missed last week’s episode on squid, click here to watch it OnDemand

Roughy on the Rise

You can now purchase a copy of Roughy on the Rise, the story of New Zealand's most controversial fishery.
The story of orange roughy is one of cowboys, characters and conservation.
Roughy on the Rise charts the discovery of this mysterious deepwater fish, its exploitation, its depiction by environmental NGOs as the epitome of unsustainable fishing, the slow unlocking of its secrets, its key role in bankrolling the development of the New Zealand seafood industry - and latterly its recovery.
Click here to purchase a copy

Register for the 2017 Seafood Industry Conference

Register now for the 2017 Seafood Industry conference.
We have a full programme including local and international speakers.
One of the sessions will look at how New Zealand can guarantee that our seafood is of the highest quality and sourced from one of the most sustainably managed fisheries in the world.
The keynote speakers are Sir Ray Avery and Denmark's Alex Olsen.
The conference is preceded by a Technical Day on 2 August at Te Papa. The programme for this is shaping up well with a wide range of speakers.
You can view details for the Technical Day here.
To register for conference and the technical day, click here.

In the Media

Changes to fisheries management

Regulations for the digital monitoring of commercial fishing activity were announced this week, bringing changes to how fishing activity is monitored and reported. 
Digital monitoring is made up of three systems – geospatial position reporting (GPR), catch reporting via e-logbooks, and cameras. 
All trawl vessels 28 metres and over will operate under the GPR and e-logbook requirements from 1 October this year, representing over 70% of commercial catch by volume. All other permit holders will transition to the new systems over a 6-month period through to 1 April 2018. All commercial fishers must be fully compliant for activity starting on or after 1 April.
Cameras will be phased in across the commercial fleet from 1 October 2018, with all commercial vessels to have cameras by 1 April 2020. 
All commercial fishing permit holders will be required to use the GPR and e-logbooks systems, with no exceptions. Vessels used exclusively for hand-gathering and diving, and tenders used solely for purse-seining, are excluded from the requirement to use cameras.
Read more

Ralph’s Tasmania Seafood and PauaCo to Merge 

Representatives from PauaCo Ltd and Ralph’s Tasmania Seafood Pty. Ltd announced this week that the two companies will be merging on August 25th, 2017 resulting in the creation of Australasia’s largest abalone processor and exporter. 
PauaCo is a leading force in canned abalone currently supplying retail and catering markets in South East Asia while Ralph’s Tasmania Seafood’s expertise lies in live abalone export to mainland China. The merger has come about in order to better utilize the wild abalone resource in both New Zealand and Australia. 
“We are delighted to be able to announce this merger to the market," said David Hogg, Chairman of PauaCo.“It marks the beginning of an incredibly exciting period of transformation for the abalone industry on both sides of the Tasman. At the very heart of this deal is better utilization of a wild resource and growth in the value of that resource for all of the stakeholders involved.” 

Paua ban pushes fishers into 'stressed' Sounds

Stuff (9 July) A ban on paua diving along the Kaikoura and south Marlborough coast is putting stress on other parts of the fishery.
Recreational fishers are travelling north looking for the shellfish after a large section of the South Island's east coast was shut due to last year's earthquake.
Concerned locals are calling for the Ministry for Primary Industries to put in place tighter controls on recreational fishers, particularly in Port Underwood.
Local sheep farmer Eric Jorgensen said he had seen more boats in the area looking for paua.
"Without question there are people who used to just shoot down the coast and are now coming here," Jorgensen said.
"All that effort is coming into an area that is already under stress. What happens next?"
Read more

Bluff oysters given the all clear

Stuff (10 July) Bluff's wild oyster fishery has been cleared of bonamia ostreae.
The deadly parasite was found in farmed oysters in Big Glory Bay, Stewart Island, in May, with fears it could destroy the world's last wild oyster fishery.
But, the Ministry for Primary Industries confirmed on Monday the disease had not been found in tests, giving them "95 percent confidence that bonamia is not present".
The threat has seen millions of oysters pulled from Big Glory Bay over the last month, with the removal operation now moving to the Marlborough Sounds.
The next round of testing will be completed in September.
Read more

Seafood supplier recognised by Sydney Fish Market

Nelson Mail (10 July) Nelson seafood supplier Finestkind has been shortlisted for best interstate or overseas supplier at The Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards.
Chief executive Donna Wells said the award was on the back of a big two years for Finestkind, despite a changing business environment in fisheries.
"Fishermen have to work quite differently than they have in the past – there's a bit more pressure on them to comply and be businessmen as well as catching fish," she said.
"It's great to be acknowledged and for Finestkind to be there, the small company that it is and what it's achieving, it's pretty amazing."
Read more

2017 Seabird Smart Awards

Here’s your chance to spread the word about your fleet’s achievements.
Nominations are now open for the 2017 Seabird Smart Awards, so if you know someone who is making an extra effort to look after seabirds go online and nominate them.
The awards are run by the Southern Seabird Solutions Trust and aim to recognise outstanding leadership and commitment to looking after New Zealand seabirds.
You could nominate a skipper or crew, a manager, or even a vessel. Basically it can be anyone associated with fishing in any kind of role.
The 2017 awards function is timed to coincide with an international meeting of seabird experts from thirteen countries being held in Wellington in September.
Click here to learn more or nominate someone