Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 16 June 2017

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

Captain's Blog

June 16, 2017

Academic activists renew attacks on Quota Management System

Auckland University activist academics have renewed their attacks on the commercial fishing industry.
And they have been joined by Otago University’s Prof Liz Slooten who continues to falsely claim the seafood sector is catching and killing Maui dolphins, despite lacking a shred of evidence to that effect.
Auckland University Business School head Prof Nigel Haworth, who is also president of the Labour Party, and colleague Dr Glenn Simmons are leading a campaign to undermine the Quota Management System.
They object to it being regarded as world leading and said as much in a letter published in the US-based National Academy of Sciences journal this week.
They accompanied it with a press release on Auckland University letterhead yesterday claiming “New Zealand is failing miserably at looking after the majority of our fish stocks”.
Complacency and smugness was rife amongst the Ministry for Primary Industries and politicians, they also claimed, abandoning science in favour of politics.
What they did not refer to was an international paper from Mora et al from 2012, titled Management Effectiveness of the World’s Marine Fisheries, that rated New Zealand higher than the US, Iceland, Norway and Russia.
An inconvenient truth, perhaps?
Or maybe the naysayers, being highly educated people, are relying on the philosopher Nietzsche’s dictum that there are no truths, only interpretations.
The National Academy of Sciences journal also carried this week a response from leading New Zealand and international scientists, including MPI principal adviser on fisheries science Dr Pamela Mace,  National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research chief scientist Dr Rosie Hurst and University of Washington professor of aquatic and fishery science Ray Hilborn.
“New Zealand fisheries statistics cited by Slooten et al appear incorrect,” they said.
“In 2016, assessed stocks accounted for 72 percent of total landings by volume (79 percent by value), representing the majority of commercial fish species; 97 percent of assessed landings by volume were identified as having no sustainability issues for target species. The Quota Management System has generally been successful at reducing fleet overcapacity and fishing effort, eliminating harmful subsidies, maintaining productive stocks, and rebuilding previously depleted stocks.
“In any fisheries management system there are competing values and there is always room for improvements. Slooten et al highlight several challenges in New Zealand, which apply to many other fisheries around the world. However, they fail to recognise the positioning of New Zealand systems within a global context, as exemplified by comparative analyses. Our findings that New Zealand fisheries management systems are among the world’s most successful at meeting objectives are consistent with previous findings.
“To improve fisheries management globally, the greatest gains to be made are in the lower performing countries, where there are currently insufficient resources and attention to achieving basic management goals.”
MPI responded yesterday that “we stand behind our scientific findings that show New Zealand’s fish stocks are in good shape”.
“All of New Zealand’s major commercial fisheries have full stock assessments and these assessments are all independently reviewed in a transparent and open process,” MPI stated.
“To make sure our assessment methods are robust, we periodically get the world’s best fisheries scientists to review our approach.
“The fisheries that are fully assessed are those most at risk, either because that’s where most of the commercial catch comes from, or they’re particularly vulnerable.
“Where stock status is uncertain, MPI is deliberately cautious in the advice it provides the Minister on setting catch limits.
“Ninety seven percent of landings come from stocks where there are no sustainability concerns.”
The seafood industry appreciates the importance of critical debate in the academic community and that ideas for better fisheries management are being discussed.
That means acknowledging that academic freedom does allow a small core on the public payroll to pursue personal agendas.
And we do agree with Dr Simmons that “New Zealand now needs to focus on how to provide truly sustainable fisheries management, maximising long-term profits and minimising environmental impacts”.
That is exactly the course the industry is on.

Ocean Bounty

Once described as being in a state of collapse. What is the real orange roughy story?
Ocean Bounty joins scientists on a voyage assessing orange roughy stocks in areas that have been closed for up to 15 years and also talks to a man whose boat sank beneath him one miserable night miles offshore on the roughy ground. 
Darren Lovell from Fishbone also features, discussing the delights of orange roughy.
Tune in to Three at 5pm on Sunday to check it out, and if you missed last week’s episode on Hawke's Bay, click here to watch it OnDemand

Roughy on the Rise on sale now

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

NZ Food Awards 

NZ Food Awards are a celebration of innovation in food, showcasing the finest local producers.
The Ministry for Primary Industries is sponsoring two awards this year; the Food Safety Culture Award and the Primary Sector Products Award.
- The Food Safety Culture Award is open to all food and beverage companies that demonstrate they have a strong food safety culture throughout all aspects of their operations, and up and down their supply chain.
- The Primary Sector Products Award is open to all food and beverage companies who add value to products through new or alternative harvesting, processing or packaging to create new or innovative products.
Entires close on 30 June. To find out more information or to enter, click here.

2017 Seafood Industry Conference - Registrations now open

Registrations for the 2017 New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference are now open and we are pleased to announce that our keynote speaker is Alex Olsen of A. Espersen A/S, Demmark.
Alex is a progressive thinker who will talk about 'Seafood in a changing world -how we deal with the challenges we face'. Alex started with Espersen in 2007 and has since developed Espersen’s Sustainability and Governance initiatives throughout their supply chains.
Sir Ray Avery, New Zealander of the Year in 2010, is our other keynote, speaking about Kiwis' innovative attitude and what makes us different.
Click here to view the programme and register now.

In the Media

MPI hopes to start Stewart Island oyster cull next week

Southland Times (13 June) Ministry for Primary Industries staff have ordered the cull of all farmed oysters in Big Glory Bay, Stewart Island to stop the spread of the parasite bonamia ostreae.
They hope the harvesting of the oysters will begin next week in an effort to try and protect the wild Bluff fishery in Foveaux Strait.
Ministry staff were in Bluff earlier this week to gauge the size of the work to come.
MPI readiness and response manager Geoff Gwyn said his staff would work with the six farms in Big Glory Bay.
They were not sure at this stage how many oysters would be pulled up, he said.
"We won't have an exact figure till we start pulling them out of the water." 
With several options for destroying the oysters, MPI was still working through the best way to dispose of them.
The affected farmers would be able to apply for compensation under the Biosecurity Act.
Read more

Worker's lie about father dying cost Talley's Fisheries $173,000

Stuff (14 June) A Nelson couple is staring down a $173,000 reparation claim after lying about a family death.
Tyler Stewart Stokes, 20, and Monique Carlaw, 22, lied to Talley's Fisheries about the death of Stokes' father, who they said had died in a car accident.
Stokes also said his mother was in the accident and was in intensive care, another lie.
Stokes' partner, Carlaw, was called and confirmed the lie, redirecting the Amaltal Columbia to port in Lyttelton Harbour.
The summary of facts said police were seeking reparation for Talley's totalling $173,000 for the losses the lies had caused.
Read more

Fishing company fined for paua offences

Southland Times (June 14) A commercial paua business in Bluff has been fined for fishing offences.
Aaron David Parker and his company, Fresh Is Best Ltd, were convicted and sentenced last week.
Judge Melanie Harland fined the company $12,350 for breaching the Fisheries Act by unlawfully taking 199kg of paua without holding the minimum annual catch entitlement and by failing to correctly record or report the paua when it was landed.
Parker was fined $1,900 as the sole director of the company.
Read more

2017 Seafood Star Awards

Nominations for the Seafood Star Awards are now open. The categories for this year's awards are:
- Young Achiever Award
- Longstanding Service Award
- Future Development Innovation Award
The Seafood Stars Awards will run across all facets of the industry and will be presented to those who have made a significant contribution to the seafood industry.
Click here to download the form and nominate someone.