Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 24 February 2017

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

Captain's Blog

February 24, 2017

Industry efforts on environment acknowledged

 The industry welcomes the publication this week of the Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review (AEBAR) for 2016. It is, as always, a monumental effort by Pamela Mace and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
  Whilst acknowledging there is still work to do as an industry to mitigate our effects on the environment it is, at the same time, an equal acknowledgement that our ongoing efforts are being recognised and being effective.
  Of note from this report is confirmation that annual estimation of Maui dolphin fatalities has been considerably revised down – from the previous 5 per year to 0.16 per year. The report also reiterates there have been no observed captures in the Taranaki closure area since MPI observers were put on board set net vessels in 2012.
  MPI have also recognised that the fall in sea lion numbers has no single cause; “there is no single threat that is impacting on the sea lion population and recovery will require mitigation of multiple threats at the four main breeding sites”
  Seabird captures are still of concern but the report confirms a downward trend in white-capped albatross, fluctuations in other albatross species, and a downward trend in all other seabirds apart from the white-chinned petrel.
  MPI recognises the effort the industry has made in reducing the incidental capture of seabirds including the use of tori lines to scare birds away from baited hooks. The report acknowledges the industry also funded research into new, improved mitigation measures and adopted voluntary codes of practice and best-practice fishing methods.
  Special mention was made of Southern Seabird Solutions, a collaboration between the commercial fishing industry and environmental and conservation groups whose stated aim is to promote responsible fishing practices that avoid the incidental capture of seabirds in New Zealand and the southern ocean.
  Reducing our environmental impact must be an ongoing priority. We are mindful of the fragility of the resource we use and will continue, through science and innovation, to lessen our footprint.
  However, we must never lose sight of the incredible contribution the men and women of this industry make to New Zealand through employment and our contribution to New Zealand’s economy.
  In the face of opposition from those who have a philosophical objection to any commercial fishing we should remain proud of what we do. We value environmental responsibility and are proud we fish in one of the top five sustainable fisheries in the world.
  Science can be the only measure of that.
  A document like AEBAR is a useful measure of where we sit.

Gone Fishin' kicking off this Sunday

This Sunday Graeme Sinclair will be back in his 24th season as host of Gone Fishin'.
Starting in Kaikoura, where his father was born and he learnt to dive, Graeme checks out the changes to the coastline and talks to locals about how they are recovering, post earthquake.
Check it out at 4.30pm, Sunday on TV3.

Talleys manager presented with Seabird Smart trophy

Mike Black, depot manager for Talleys in Bluff, was presented with the Seabird Smart Award trophy in Bluff yesterday.
Black was given the award by Tom Searle, operations manager for Leigh Fisheries, who he jointly won the award with in 2015.
Black received the award for implementing a Seabird Risk Management Plan for inshore trawlers along the southern coast, in less then two months.
The trophy is awarded by Southern Seabird Solutions Trust, an organisation that works with commercial and recreational fishermen to promote seabird smart fishing practices.
National MP Sarah Dowie, Tom Searle, Mike Black and Invercagill Mayor Tim Shadbolt at yesterdays presentation.

Ian Leask remembered

Ian Leask, 79, a Southland fishing industry stalwart, died on February 11.
Ian was well respected for his knowledge and skill as a fisherman, he also gave his time to serve on various industry organisations.
"He was a gentleman and an industry leader in the southern waters," CRA8 chief executive Malcolm Lawson said.
Ian was also instrumental in setting up and operating the Bluff Fishermen’s Radio, which his wife Meri has voiced for many years.

Are MPAs the Best way to Protect the Ocean?

Professor Emeritus Robert Kearney of the University of Canberra (CFOOD) has questioned whether marine protected areas are the answer for managing the impacts of commercial fishing.
Kearney argues the fishery science community, along with ecologists, need to "critically review" the concept of marine protected areas and analyse the effectiveness of closures for resource allocation and biodiversity.
Kearney agrees that fishing needs to be managed, but that in developed countries "the most effective outcomes can usually be achieved under specific fisheries legislation that enables actions to be tailored to individual problems."
"It is now obvious in Australia that the effectiveness of our fisheries management by traditional techniques (predominantly effort and catch controls) far exceeds that of the management of other threats to marine ecosystems," he said.
Read more

In the Media

New pups help boost dwindling sea lion population

Radio NZ (February 23) New Zealand sea lions have had a big year, with pup numbers their highest in 20 years.
This years survey found 1965 pups, up from 1727 last year, an increase of 14 percent.
The announcement was made by Minister for Conservation Maggie Barry on the Auckland Islands, 460km south of Bluff.
The Island chain is the main breeding ground for the endemic pinniped.
Barry said it was an encouraging sign to see them recovering.
"I think any increase in the birth rate of pups has to be commended," Barry said.
"These are a critically threatened species. They are the rarest sea lion in the world.
Read more

Paua industry welcomes extension of shell fishery closure along Kaikoura coast

Kaikoura Star (February 20) Paua stocks along the Kaikoura coast are being given time to recover, with the extension of a shellfish and seaweed harvest ban.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced the current closure would continue through to November 20.
The ban was originally put in place after last year's earthquake.
Guy said 20 percent of adult paua habitat had been effected by the quake and an even higher number of the juvenile habitat.
"The science will examine not just the direct impacts on fisheries and other iconic marine species, but also on the habitats that support them." 
Read more

Opinion: Why the ban should be in place

The harvest ban on shellfish and seaweed will effect PAU3 and PAU7.
Follow the links below to hear more from their respective chairmans, Jason Ruawai and Barry Chandler, on the why the ban is so important if the fishery is to recover.
Read more from Jason Ruawai
Read more from Barry Chandler

Ngati Kahungunu enters joint iwi fishing venture with Tainui for Hawke's Bay

Hawke's Bay Today (February 22) A joint venture between Tainui and Ngati Kahungunu is being entered into to fish Tainui's quota.
Ngati Kahungunu have recently purchased a $3.5 million deep-sea vessel to fish their own quota.
The venture is valued at $20 million, with the possibility Tainui would invest further in other new Ngati Kahungunu boats.
Tainui Holdings director Tuku Morgan made the announcement at the Taniwha Dragon Economic Summit in Hastings and said the initial focus would be on fishing crayfish.
Read more

TTR says mining proposal a significant opportunity for NZ

NZ Herald (Feb 17) During day two of hearings, Trans Tasman Resources said its controversial plan for mining the South Taranaki Bight will have a positive effect on the local community.
Alan Eggers, chairman for TTR, said there will be new opportunities for employment, training and service for 20 years.
"Regionally there is diversification of economic activity and a new industry for New Zealand" Eggers said.
Tokatumoana Walden, in-charge of stakeholder engagement, said he had struggled to work with the community around the proposal.
"I'm disappointed that we couldn't have engaged more constructively ... I'm still struggling to understand the principle of, if you don't engage, then how do we work through some of the key issues that you hold on this development?" said Walden.
Read more

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