Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 17 February 2017

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

Captain's Blog

February 17, 2017

Opposition to iron sand application

A renewed application by the multinational Trans Tasman Resources (TTR) to mine iron sands from the seabed off the Taranaki coast has been opposed by a number of companies in the seafood sector.
TTR’s analysis of the impact of its proposals on commercial fishing was simplistic and inadequate, Fisheries Inshore New Zealand chief executive Dr Jeremy Helson submitted.
The hearing before the Environmental Protection Authority began in Wellington yesterday to consider a proposal to mine 50 million tonnes of sands each year for up to 35 years from shallow waters 25 kilometers offshore.
About five million tonnes of concentrated iron ore would be separated out, with the remaining 45 million tonnes of dredged sediment returned to the mining site.
The proposal has united environmental groups and fishing interests in opposition, although Sanford is in favour.
“Clean water, sustainable harvest, world-leading management, the highest quality seafood and a light environmental foorprint are amongst important factors relied on to gain access into the most discerning seafood markets,” Dr Helson said.
“Large-scale seabed mining is not consistent with these attributes. I am concerned that the potential reputational damage arising from iron sand mining will have collateral negative economic consequences for the seafood industry.”
He was also submitting on behalf of the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen, Talley’s Group, Southern Inshore Fisheries Management Company and Cloudy Bay Clams.
“The evidence consistently assesses biological impacts,” he said. “While biological impacts are part of any analysis of the effects on fisheries, the analysis fails to appreciate that fisheries are an economic activity that is conducted subject to a complex legal regime.
“Consequently, there is no adequate assessment of the effects of the proposed mining activity on existing commercial fishing interests.
“The uncertainty associated with the density and spatial extent of the sediment plume influences secondary effects such as light penetration and primary production, both of which are in turn uncertain.
“The reductions of these important parameters are reported as averages over the sediment modelling domain, an area of 13,300 square kilometres. There is no analysis of local-scale effects that may have a negative influence on commercial fish species and/or fisheries.”
Dr Helson outlined the importance and extent of the commercial fisheries sector – 1356 quota owners, 1170 registered fishing vessels, 203 licensed fish receivers – and the high regard with which the Quota Management System was held internationally and queried why that good reputation should be put at risk.
“New Zealand trades on its reputation as a clean and unspoilt environment in marketing collateral for both tourism and primary industries. This is evident from major government initiatives such as the New Zealand Story. The applicant’s proposal is directly counter to the New Zealand brand upon which the seafood industry trades.”
Committee chairman Alick Shaw, a former Wellington deputy mayor, Labour Party candidate and Island Bay restaurateur, said the EPA would not be swayed by the volume of submissions, the majority of which are opposed to the project.
It was not a popularity contest and it was the information provided and the applicability of the law that would drive the decision.
TTR’s initial application was rejected by the EPA in 2014 because of concerns about its impact on the marine environment.
TTR legal counsel Mike Holm said the modified proposal “will have some impact on the environment”  but the potential effects would be “very small to negligible”.
The Wellington hearings will be followed by a further round in New Plymouth in March, with no date set for a decision.


In memory of Charles Shadbolt

Charles Shadbolt, head of Independent Fisheries in Christchurch, passed away this morning.
Like his father Howard, who established the business, Charles was a humble and generous man who saw his staff as his greatest asset.
Aged 67, he had battled illness for the past two years and succumbed to secondary cancer.
He was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours for his contribution to the New Zealand fishing industry and his philanthrophy within the Canterbury community.
Charles is survived by his wife Carol and four daughters – Rachel, Cherie, Selina and Annalis.
His funeral will be held at the Christchurch Cathedral on Monday at 2pm.

Albacore tuna gets second sustainability tick

  New Zealand's albacore tuna troll fishery has been re-certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as being sustainably managed. The certification is valid for a period of 5 years and requires annual audits to ensure the fishery maintains its high level of performance.
  MSC Program Director for Oceania, Anne Gabriel, has congratulated the New Zealand albacore tuna fishery.
  “This shows the fishery recognises the instrumental role they play in making a significant difference to the health of the world’s oceans, fish stocks and the marine ecosystems,” she said.
Read more

Deepwater Group welcomes Kermadec research

   The discoveries of new species made by NIWA on a 20-day scientific voyage to the remote Kermadec region have been welcomed by deep sea fishers, who encourage further scientific exploration of this vast untouched ocean northeast of New Zealand.
   George Clement, Chief Executive of Deepwater Group, said industry has long recognised the conservation values of this large area, untouched by human activities. 
Read more

March 8 – a celebration of women in the seafood industry

 To mark International Women‘s Day on March 8 women in the seafood industry around the globe are celebrating their role in the industry.
 Seafood women in Iceland, the United States, Chile, Europe, Australia and in Nelson, New Zealand are taking part.
 Donna Wells of Finestkind is organising a breakfast in Nelson, the first event of rolling celebrations around the globe when a “social media blitz” of women in the industry will start.
 Profiles of women in the industry will be gathered and shared through social media.
 Fleur Sullivan of Fleur’s Place, Moeraki, one of the most celebrated women in the seafood industry, has agreed to be guest speaker at the event at the Trailways Hotel.
 If you want to be part of the event please contact Donna Wells, or phone her at 027 243 1282.
 If you can’t attend but are willing to share your profile please send a photo and a paragraph to Donna about yourself that can be shared on social media on the day.

In the Media

Cage diving blamed for shark aggression

Cage diving is being blamed for increased shark aggression after a great white bit a inflatable dinghy off Stewart Island
Radio NZ followed up on the February 10 Friday update that reported that Roy Barnsdale was fishing off Ackers Point when a 3.5-metre-long shark started circling their eight-metre boat, which the dinghy was tied off the back of.
No one was on the dinghy, but with three children on board, he quickly motored back to shore.
Barnsdale, who has been holidaying on Stewart Island for 60 years, said shark sightings had become more frequent and it was due to cage diving.
He said recreational divers lives were at risk, but the livelihood of paua divers was also being jeopardized.
Read more

Second attempt at iron sand mining permit

NZ Herald (February 14) Trans Tasman Resource are again trying to get permission to mine iron sands from New Zealand's ocean floor.
New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen, Talleys Group and Southern Inshore Fisheries Management Company will testify against, whilst Sanford will speak in favour.
TTR have invested around $65 million to gain consents for the South Taranaki Bight iron sands project.
Read more

Talley's New Zealand skipjack tuna purse seine reaches last stage of MSC certification

   Following a 30-day comment period a determination was made that the Talley's skipjack tuna purse seine should be certified in accordance with MSC Fisheries Standards.
   There is now a 5 day period during which a previously involved stakeholder can make an objection.
   Skipjack tuna have been caught by purse seine in New Zealand's EEZ since the 1970s. 
   The fishery is predominantly located off the northern west and east coasts of the North Island.
   To view or download MSC's final report, click here
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