Seafood New Zealand Friday Update - 25 November 2016

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

Captain's Blog

November 25, 2016 
The 100km stretch of banned coastline - from the southern tip of the Kaikoura Marine Reserve north to Cape Campbell/MPI
Fisheries ban welcomed by industry
  After industry spent a week holding its breath on the earthquake damage to the Kaikoura fisheries, MPI’s harvesting ban and $2 million science package provides a pathway for business to return to normal.
  “There will be an initial one month closure of the crayfish fishery and three months for all remaining shellfish and seaweed species,” Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy announced on Monday.
  Scientists and stakeholders now have time to better understand the affects to the uplifted seafloor and the displacement of an unknown quantity of marine life.
  The Paua and NZ Rock Lobster Industry Councils have both welcomed the emergency closure.
  Rock lobsters are likely to have escaped the brunt of the quake, being mobile enough to find their way back below the low tide mark.
  The Canterbury Marlborough Rock Lobster Industry Association (CRAMAC 5) have an extensive inventory of the fisheries area and is confident that after completing a potting survey there will be enough information to reopen the fishery.
  November through to January is a peak fishing period in CRA 5, and if the emergency closure is lifted prior to Christmas there should be sufficient time during the remainder of the season to catch the 70 tonnes of ACE they have been holding back for the lucrative Chinese New Year market.
  Unfortunately the initial estimates on the death of paua along the 100km stretch of coastline from the Kaikoura Marine Reserve to Cape Campbell is far less positive.
  “The number of paua left stranded are believed to be in the hundreds of thousands,” Paua Industry chairman Storm Stanley said.
  It is still unknown the amount of harm caused to the special habitat where paua larvae and juveniles live.
  But there will be a reasonable numbers of adult paua surviving further offshore and in parts of the intertidal zone.
  The job now is to assess what is left and how best to rehabilitate the fishery.
  The formulation of this plan has already begun, with MPI, Iwi, recreational and commercial fishermen working together.
  The co-operation between groups often on opposite sides of the fence should be commended.
  It should also provide a template for future collaborations.
  The next challenge will be grasping the extent of work needed to get boats back in the water.
  Vessels in Kaikoura harbour were initially left high and dry and may need to be relocated unless there is dredging to the harbour to re-open the channel.
  Remedial work to launching sites along the coastline is already well underway.
  With so much at stake, the response from Government and MPI to this disaster has been first rate.
  Fishing is a major contributor to the Marlborough and Kaikoura economies and the response from Government reflects that.
  The wage subsidy package offered to businesses with less than 20 staff has also been extended to everyone who “can provide evidence of a sudden, large and sustained drop in revenue due to earthquake-related impacts.”
  This should include all fishing operations in the region and will allow businesses of varying sizes to support staff as time is spent gathering valuable information on the fisheries.

-Tim Pankhurst

Kaikoura fishery closure 

In this section you will find everything you need to know about the emergency closure and harvest ban for Kaikoura.

Follow the different links to see what the different groups are saying:
MPI press release
Lobster Industry Supports Kaikoura Fishing Closures
Paua industry supports MPI ban
Locals welcome fisheries closure in the wake of the qauke

You can find more information on the closure at MPI's website. Just click here and scroll down to "Closures and Restrictions."

For information on the Earthquake Support Subsidy and whether you apply click here
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.
Apologies to Sanford, whose new 67m deep sea trawler is correctly named the San Granit.

In the Media

What New Zealand can learn from the Gulf of Mexico's red snapper fishery (November 19) reports about Randall Bess's recent trip to Mexico and how lessons from managing their recreational red snapper fishery could be applied to New Zealand.
Bess said there are striking similarities between New Zealand and Mexico's snapper fisheries. 
Both are rebuilding after commercial over fishing and are highly valued by all sectors.
Bess references The New Zealand Initiative's What's the Catch? and argues that unless we reconsider the management of recreational fishing there may be larger sustainability problems down the road. 
Read more

Government closes all paua and rock lobster fisheries in quake-hit areas

Stuff (November 21) reports on the harvesting ban imposed by MPI after the 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake.
Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy made the announcement on Monday, and said there would also be a $2 million science package to better understand the depletion of stock along a 100km stretch of coastline.
"There will be an initial one-month closure of the crayfish fishery and three months for all remaining shellfish and seaweed species," Guy said. 
Read more

Government adviser fired over offensive comments about Māori 

Newshub (November 23) reports on racist comments by a government-endorsed member of the South East Marine Protection Forum and his subsequent firing.
Nelson Cross, a former engineer and recreational fisherman, said Maori enjoyed "KFC, the TAB and sedentary living," among various other racist comments.
In response to criticism after the comments Cross said he wasn't a racist and the newsletter was meant to be toungue in cheek.
Cross wrote the article six years ago, but repeated it in a newsletter widely shared in fishing circles over the past month.
Read more

Fisherman who caused the death of 39 albatross sentenced to community work

Stuff (November 23) reports on Daniel Smyth, who was sentenced to 300 hours community work after causing the death of 39 albatross.
Smyth pleaded guilty last month to being the master of a vessel that failed to comply with seabird mitigation measures by ignoring instructions to use a streamer line, also known as a tori line, while fishing with surface longlines.
On two separate commercial fishing trips off the West Coast, between April 8 and 24, Smyth failed to use streamer lines, causing 41 albatross to be caught of which 39 died.
Smyth also ignored advice to deploy the line from an MPI observer who was on board the vessel. 
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 SouthEast 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.