Seafood New Zealand Friday Update - 2 December 2016

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

Captain's Blog

December 2, 2016
Government urged to get serious about climate change  
  Sanford and Moana are among scores of prominent companies and individuals that have called on the Government to seriously tackle climate change.
  Warming and rising seas and ocean acidification are among the serious challenges to a planet under stress from rising carbon dioxide and methane emissions.
  Climate change is identified as the most serious pressure on the marine environment in the Ministry for the Environment’s 2015 stocktake.
  “We are calling on the government to set ambitious targets to reduce emissions, create a long term plan for how to do it, and implement policies that can set us on the right path and empower New Zealanders to make low carbon choices,” the signatories said in an open letter to the Government published in major newspapers.
  “With the world at a turning point, we need to grasp the opportunity to move our country to a clean energy future. Without the Government pulling its weight we will not be able to make the necessary changes at the pace and scale required.
  “Our beautiful country may be small but we do matter. The whole needs to act and that includes us.”
  It would be fair to say the Government has not given tackling climate change a high priority.
  Its approach was summed up by former Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser in a presentation to a National Party Blue Greens conference on Great Barrier Island two years ago.
  It was to the effect, yes, our emissions have risen markedly but we have lots of renewable energy, electric cars are on the way, that will make all the difference, the upward graph will then drop off a cliff, don’t worry, anyone who doesn’t get it is an idiot.
  Current Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett has set up an expert panel to advise on adapting to the effects that may occur.
  Its members include Whaimatu Dewes, chair of Sealord and Ngati Porou Seafoods.
  He says climate change will bring both costs and opportunities to the East Coast.
  Ms Bennett acknowledges “entire ecosystems are being affected by ocean acidification, which threatens our $2.5 billion fishing industry”.
  The Government has ratified its Paris Agreement pledge to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
  The problem is New Zealand emissions have risen by 50 percent since 1990 and are projected to rise another 40 percent by the 2030 target date under current policy settings.
  While the prospect of catching mahimahi and wahoo in Cook Strait is personally appealing, such an ocean warming would have profound impacts across both sea and land.
  Already we are seeing some remarkable changes worldwide.
  Former Fisheries Minister Doug Kidd forwarded a report from The Times of September 27 on a seven-foot tuna found in the River Severn near Gloucester in England, hundreds of miles from its normal warm water habitat.
  The Arctic is undergoing significant change due to loss of sea ice and thawing of the frozen tundra.
  According to climate doomsayer Prof Guy McPherson, visiting New Zealand from the University of Arizona this week, temperature rises have humans on course for mass extinction in 10 years. (I guess that means we don’t have to worry about catch limits then).
  Whereas US President-elect Donald Trump is a climate change sceptic who once claimed it was a hoax perpetrated by China.
  And the Watts Up With That climate change website claims there is mounting evidence the recent run of world record high temperatures is about to end in line with a change in weather patterns, from a prolonged El Nino event to a cooler La Nina.
  That debate at least will continue to generate hot air.
- Tim Pankhurst
Future of our Fisheries
Your opportunity to respond to the Future of our Fisheries has started.
The document is broken into three parts to make submissions easy:
- Fisheries Management System Review.
- Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System regulations (IEMRS). - Enabling Innovative Trawl Technology (EITT) regulations.

To read the consultation document, send through a submission or find out if there is a public meeting near you click here.
Consultation on the document will close on the December 23.
NIWA needs your help
NIWA has asked for the help of fishermen who have had a long association with East Northland, Hauraki Gulf or Marlborough Sounds.
They are researching areas where juvenile fish congregate and want to find out how these nursery environments have changed over the years.
NIWA marine ecologist Dr Mark Morrison said they are particularly interested in populations of juvenile snapper less than 10cm long, in the Hauraki Gulf and East Northland, as well as small blue cod and tarakihi in the Marlborough Sounds.
To read more on the study or to sign up, click here

In the Media

WWF disowns leaked report questioning MSC
Stuff (November 26) reports on a leaked document from WWF that casts doubt on the Marine Stewardship Council's blue tick.
The report focused on WWF's experience when it tried to object to Indian Ocean tuna businesses gaining MSC certification.
In the report WWF said there was a "complete absence of harvest control rules" in the Indian Ocean but assessors and MSC's technical oversight team "concluded otherwise."
Read more
WWF's David Hirsh has since poured cold water on the article: "This is no new report. The Times [where the report was published originally] article refers to an internal paper. WWF is not making that report available as it was mishandled in draft form and never intended to be public."
WWF also told The Times the report was "a draft of an internal paper that has not been reviewed, fact-checked or balanced by diversities of opinion."
Kaikoura crayfish research to determine quake effects on $24 million industry
Stuff (November 26)
 reports on research vessels beginning to survey the North Canterbury and Marlborough rock lobster fisheries.
The survey will help to determine how much damage was sustained during the 7.8 earthquake.
Commercial fishing boats will drop pots along the coast to assess rock lobster numbers and their condition.
NIWA staff will carry out the test before the lobsters are safely returned to the sea.
Twenty commercial crayfishing boats have been directly hit by the emergency closure and the fleet has a remaining quota of around 20 tonnes of catch to land in the season, which runs to March.
Read more
Agriculture and fishery jobs no longer the most dangerous
Stuff (November 28) reports agriculture and fishery jobs no longer rank as the most dangerous in New Zealand.
Agriculture and fishery injury rates have declined from 242 claims per 1000 workers in 2014, to 233 per 1000 last year.
Collaborative development manager for Statistics NZ Michele Lloyd said for the first time since 2007 workers in fishing, agriculture and forestry did not have the highest work-related claim rate.
Read more
$950,000 boost for Southland aquaculture
Scoop (November 30) published a media statement by the New Zealand Government announcing a $950,000 funding boost in support of Southland's aquaculture industry.
Aquaculture is a key focus of the Southland Regional Development Strategy Action Plan, which aims to grow and diversify the local economy.
Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy said aquaculture is a high value industry and the Government would like to see the industry’s contribution grow, for the benefit of Southland and the wider economy.
Read more
South-East Marine Protection Forum Public Consultation - Have your say 
The South-East Marine Protection Forum has released a public consultation document and has called for submissions on initial proposals of 20 sites that could be included in a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) along the South East Coast of the South Island from Timaru to Waipapa Point.
You can download the public consultation document, submission form and supporting documents on this link, or call 0800 687 729 to request a copy.
Copies will also be available for viewing at local council offices and public libraries throughout the region.
Submissions close 5pm, Tuesday, December 20, 2016.