Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 16 September 2016

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

Captain's Blog

September 16, 2016 

Workable compromise on the Kermadecs achievable for all parties

  It has taken a while but the Government has finally accepted it needs to properly consult before overriding customary and industry fishing rights.
Some belated pressure from the Maori Party and Act was enough to delay legislation that would have established a 620,000 sq km Kermadecs Ocean Sanctuary.
Prime Minister John Key - who announced the proposal, which had been kept secret, at the United Nations in New York a year ago - is such a consummate politician he recognised the danger and hit the pull up button.
Having done so, he is now smart enough not to put a timetable on a resolution.
While he would still have the numbers to pass the Bill – just - Key said he wanted to restart negotiations with the Maori Party to find a way through.
That would more correctly be to start negotiations, rather than restart, as neither the Maori Party nor anyone else was brought in on the Kermadecs announcement. 
Key and his officials also need to talk meaningfully with those directly affected – Maori and industry.
Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Maori Fisheries Trust, has described the breach of Maori fishing rights as this Government’s equivalent of the foreshore and seabeds issue that sparked the rift between Labour and Maori under the Clark Government.
Environment Minister Nick Smith has got eggs sizzling on his ruddy face over the Kermadecs debacle, according to veteran political reporter Barry Soper.
It was Smith who poorly advised Cabinet on the Kermadecs in the first place and he has remained obstinate until overruled by his leader.
Smith’s approach is at odds with Solicitor-General Chris Finlayson who has been heard to mutter “this is what happens when you don’t follow due process”. 
  Environmental groups have done the usual huffing against commercial fishing, blaming the industry for the Kermadecs stalling, thereby demonstrating that they still don’t get it.
Customary and property rights cannot be overturned at will. 
Greenpeace and the like use those very same arguments when it suits them.
Do the eNGOs really think the Treaty and its settlements should be summarily dismissed?
So, how to move on and find a workable compromise?
A good start would be to move away from the ideological position that the Kermadecs be a no-take reserve forever.
It already has substantial protection. 
The fishing industry declared 30 percent of the EEZ, including the Kermadecs, as seabed sanctuaries banning trawling and dredging a decade ago.
The Kermadec islands are already fully protected marine reserves in the 20-km territorial sea radius.
Maori and the seafood industry fully support marine conservation. But the Kermadecs biodiversity is not at risk and there is no current proposal for ramped up fishing effort.
There are plenty of examples of marine reserves with differing degrees of allowable activities.
Everyone’s objectives can be met by continuing to allow the surface longlining currently taking place under the QMS, recognising indigenous rights embodied in the 1992 Maori Fisheries Settlement Act 152 years after they were supposedly guaranteed in the Treaty of Waitangi, and Maori perhaps compromising by shelving quota for a decade or so.
Is that so hard to achieve?
- Tim Pankhurst

Kermadecs in the media

A round-up of key news articles this week around Kermadecs fishing rights.
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In the Media

Research proving worth of health benefits from Greenshell™ mussels 

Stuff (September 15) reported on a joint research programme between Sanford Ltd and the Cawthron Institute that has made steady progress into better understanding the make-up of Greenshell™ mussels as a high quality super food. Sanford Fisheries and the Cawthron are almost a year into a three year research programme using scientific evidence to show the health benefits of eating the popular shellfish. The shellfish provides a third of daily protein needs, as well as a rich source of iron, iodine, selenium and vitamin B12. Sanford was keen to be part of the growing world-wide demand for greenshell mussels from health conscious consumers in Asia, Sanford marine farming operations manager Zane Charman said. Read more
New Zealand King Salmon CEO Grant Rosewarne.

King Salmon targets 'eligible' investors in upper South Island

The Dominion Post (September 9) reported on New Zealand King Salmon planning to raise $180 million in a public share offer to fund future investment and working capital, and repay debt. Up to 45 per cent of the company is being made available for public investment. As an incentive to invest in a local company a $1 million priority offer of shares is being made available to 'eligible' residents living in Marlborough and Nelson as part of the initial public offering. New Zealand King Salmon chief executive Grant Rosewarne said to qualify for the special offer residents only had to prove they had a home address in either of the two regions. "We're trying to address the issue where we have a head office and processing factory in Nelson, and farms in the Marlborough Sounds, and little opportunity for residents in the top of the South to invest in New Zealand King Salmon," Rosewarne said.
Read more

Commercial withdrawal from scallop beds in the top of the south

Stuff (September 9) reported on commercial scallopers in Tasman and Golden Bay halting catching in the area for the rest of this season. A recent meeting of the Challenger Scallop Enhancement Company board  unanimously agreed to notify all fishermen that they would close Tasman and Golden Bay to all commercial fishing for the duration of this year at least. Following consultation with commercial, iwi and recreational sectors earlier in the year, the Minister for Primary Industries made a decision to close parts of the Southern Scallop Fishery (SCA7) for the 2016 season which runs between July 15 and February 14 next year. The area closed encompassed the entire Marlborough Sounds and eastern part of Tasman Bay. Read more

New Zealand Aquaculture Conference 2016

Just over a week until the 2016 New Zealand Aquaculture Conference. This year's conference will be held over three days. 
September 27: Research day, 9am – 5pm.
September 28: Technical day, 9am – 5 pm.
September 29: Conference, 8.30am – 4.45pm; cocktail function, 6.30pm – 10pm.
Book now to secure your spot or view Conference Agenda.
Rutherford Hotel, Nelson
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