Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 24 June 2016



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

Captain's Blog


June 24, 2016 



Seafood industry delivering on export goals

Seafood exports have hit record highs. 
In the year to end April, exports totalled $1.75 billion, according to the Statistics Department.
This was a $38 million increase on the previous high recorded a month earlier  in the year to the end of March.
The strong export growth for seafood has accelerated since the beginning of the year.
It is being fuelled by an exceptional year for squid but prices across frozen fin fish, rock lobster, orange roughy, fish meal and mussels are all up.
Big squid catches in the Southern Ocean around the Auckland Islands have coincided with a poor season in the Argentina and Falklands fisheries, which has pushed demand and prices up for New Zealand product.
Observer coverage in the squid fishery is almost at 100 percent and there have been no reports of sea lion captures. The pup count on the main breeding grounds of the Auckland Islands, which has fallen in recent years, is showing a healthy 10 percent increase.
The fact that a wide variety of species across a big range of markets are in demand and are attracting premium prices bodes well for the sector.
The wild fishery is well managed, stocks are sustainable and the aquaculture sector is expanding.
While the bulk of the catch is exported, the domestic market, which is currently receiving fresh and affordable hoki, is also important.
There is no cause for complacency and prices and catches will always fluctuate.
Even so, the seafood sector is performing well pretty much across the board and deserves recognition for that. The projected 2016 return is a 15 percent increase on the previous year.
Unfortunately, that is not the case across the primary sector and that is bad news for New Zealand Inc.
The unpalatable fact is the country has gone backwards, largely due to the sharp decline in dairy returns.
The projected primary sector export total of $36.7 billion this year is an increase of $1 billion on 2015 but is well below the peak of $38.3 billion in 2014. It is not until 2018 that the returns are expected to eclipse the total of four years earlier.
It still remains the case that farming drives the New Zealand economy. The primary sector accounts for 55 percent of current exports. And the indications are increasingly that the Government’s 2025 export targets are wishful thinking.
It is not just dairy commodity products that have been hard hit.
Meat and wool are struggling and are actually predicted to go backwards from 2016’s projected $9 billion, which is on a par with 2015. Even by 2020 this sector’s returns are predicted to be below this year, at $8.8 billion.
In contrast, seafood is predicted to steadily increase, surpassing $2 billion in 2019 and up again to $2.1 billion the following year.
“Prices in New Zealand dollars are likely to remain high due to an expected further currency depreciation against the US dollar and growing demand from our key seafood export destinations (China and the US),” the Ministry for Primary Industries said in its latest Situation and Outlook. 
Horticulture, dominated by wine and kiwifruit, and forestry and honey are also showing strong growth.
When the Business Growth Agenda was announced in 2012, the aim was to lift total exports of goods and services from 30 to 40 percent of gross domestic product by 2025. To achieve this, the value of exports needed to double in real terms.
The actual result up until this year was average growth of just 3.3 percent.
Primary sector exports will now have to grow by 9.5 percent every year until 2025 to reach the export double goal.
In the case of fishing and aquaculture, the question has to be asked: How is that compatible with a heavy taxation impost in the form of cost recovery levies that inhibit investment, marine farming and water space constraints and pandering to recreational and environmental lobbies without proper consultation with those most affected? 

- Tim Pankhurst




Conference registrations open!

The 2016 New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference programme is now confirmed and registrations are open. We have a great line up of speakers including John Connelly, President of the National Fisheries Institute, USA and Professor Ray Hilborn, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington.
Click below to review the full programme and to register.

August 31, 2016 at Te Papa, Wellington.






Seafood Stars Awards

Seafood New Zealand is marking our Quota Management System’s 30th anniversary this year with the launch of a special seafood awards programme - the Seafood Stars Awards.
The awards will run across all facets of our industry and will be presented to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the seafood industry.
The three categories are:
* Seafood Innovations - Sustainability Award 
* Seafood Star, Young Achiever Award (under 35 years of age)
* Seafood Star, Longstanding Service Award
For more details on the awards, how to nominate fellow industry members, and to download the nomination form, click the link below.



In the Media




Frustrated by accusations

Stuff (June 20) reported on Nelson fishing industry leader Darren Guard, who hit out at the "anti-fishing" climate in New Zealand. Guard, whose family has 189 years of fishing experience, said a backlash against the industry had seen his children questioned at school about his involvement in the industry. 
Read more




Sue, Rod and Zoe Neureuter. Photo: Michael Craig.


Unity needed to save Gulf

NZ Herald (June 22) ran an opinion piece on the Hauraki Gulf by Sue, Rod and Zoe Neureuter, whose family have been the guardians of The Noises Islands in the heart of the Gulf for over 85 years. Separating commercial and recreational fishers with a line on a map fails to address the real issues threatening the Hauraki Gulf, the Neureuters say.
Read more




Consultation on scallop and snapper

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is inviting submissions on the Southern scallop (SCA7) and snapper (SNA7) fisheries. Submissions on scallop management close on July 1, while submissions on the snapper catch consultation close July 11.
Click here to email submissions.
You can also attend the following drop-in sessions between 4pm and 8pm. 

Monday, June 27

Rutherford Hotel
27 Nile Street West

Tuesday, June 28

Huia Clubrooms
186 High Street

Wednesday, June 29

Takaka Fire Station
6 Motupipi Street



MPI observer functions expanded

From July 1, 2016, MPI fisheries observers will be collecting additional information about working and living conditions on board fishing vessels to enable the relevant agencies to monitor compliance with New Zealand health and safety, and labour laws. Observers will be undertaking these new functions largely within their existing work shifts and in addition to their existing fisheries research, management and monitoring functions. 
These additional functions of the Observer Programme were introduced through the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessel and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2014.
MPI Observers will be carrying out vessel safety checks on behalf of Maritime NZ before sailing, during and upon completion of every observed trip as well as monitoring crew hours on behalf of the Labour Inspectorate of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. All data collected will help to build a picture of compliance with the fisheries legislation, vessel safety and employment conditions on board New Zealand fishing vessels.
Read more -
MPI law and policy
Maritime NZ
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment 



Strong response to SeaCert consultation

Maritime NZ has received around 350 submissions on proposed changes to rules on seafarer certification that would allow holders of many older certificates to continue working without transitioning to the new SeaCert system. More than 400 seafarers attended a series of public meetings around the country and the proposal to “ring-fence” older certificates received considerable support.
Work is underway to assess submissions before an amendment is finalised for consideration by Associate Minister of Transport Craig Foss.
Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch says there was an excellent response from seafarers.
“A number of issues were raised by the submissions and these are being analysed with a view to finding solutions which maintain the integrity of the certification system, but which also meet the needs of those working in the industry,” he says. 
Maritime NZ is urging seafarers with old or legacy tickets to register their tickets. This will help build an accurate database of seafarers affected by rule changes, and ensure they are kept informed of developments. More than 1840 seafarers have already registered. Submissions closed on June 7. It is hoped to finalise SeaCert rule changes by September 2016. Seafarers can register online on this link or call 0508 732 237 (toll free) or  +64 4 473 0111 (outside New Zealand).



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