Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 25 September 2015



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

Tim Pankhurst's Captain's Blog 


Friday, September 25, 2015


New Zealand's progressive marine conservation approach

The world’s fish stocks are in severe decline, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Over fishing, pollution and climate change had significantly shrunk the size of commercial fish stocks between 1970 and 2010, it said.
“In the space of a single generation, human activity has severely damaged the ocean by catching fish faster than they can reproduce while also destroying their nurseries,” WWF International head Marco Lambertini said.
The claims were reported uncritically by the New Zealand Herald with no balancing comment or context.
The problem with such alarmist reports is they make no distinction.
It is a by now familiar narrative – technology and greed have prevailed and once boundless oceans have been stripped bare.
If the situation is bad somewhere, and there is no denying the marine space is under stress, then it is bad everywhere.
The apocalypse industry does a good job in raising awareness but maybe, just maybe, one day we could see a report that recognises that we are not all going to hell in a handcart and some sectors and activities even deserve praise, or at least recognition.
“Some people don’t seem to understand – or don’t want to understand – that you can’t harvest natural wild resources and expect them to stay at the pristine level,” Ministry for Primary Industries principal fisheries science adviser Dr Pamela Mace said about the report.
The logic in that is undeniable.
Most high seas and deepwater fisheries have been harvested only since the early 1970s.
Of course the original biomass will decline once it is commercially fished.
That will be in the order of 50-60 per cent if the resource is being managed appropriately. The maximum sustainable yield – the balance between extracting maximum value whilst sustaining the population – ideally sits at around 40 percent of the original biomasss. 
Extraction of resources – be it oil mining, forestry, land cleared for farming and crops, wine growing or fishing  to feed a hungry world and maintain economic lifestyles – has an impact.
The honest approach is to accept that premise and work to sustain production whilst minimising the environmental effects.
More emphasis on population control as the planet heads towards 11 billion human beings all needing food and warmth and shelter and all imparting a carbon footprint would not go amiss either.
Dr Mace adds that “to compare the marine situation with many land vertebrates where you have similar levels of decline since about 1970 – but where these are on top of declines over the previous one to two centuries in the order of 90-95 per cent in many cases – is disingenuous in my view”.
New Zealand’s fisheries are performing extremely well overall, at least as good as or beyond the standards of the best in the world.
Of the 300-plus stocks, 83 per cent are above or well above the level where sustainability issues might be a concern, Dr Mace told last month’s Seafood NZ conference.
New Zealand’s situation was something to be proud of, she said. 
The report is a big picture look at the global situation so is not broken down into different countries or regions, WWF New Zealand’s Head of Campaigns Peter Hardstaff acknowledged.
No doubt, if it had done so, it would have acknowledged the positive impact the Quota Management System has had and New Zealand’s world leading approach.
The report does note that “while overfishing is a global problem, it is by no means uniform and there is evidence that effective management can successfully rebuild stocks”.
And it is positive about toothfish in Antarctic waters, where New Zealand companies are active.
“Unsustainable levels of fishing have been largely curtailed since the establishment of the international Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in 1982. The Ross Sea toothfish, for example, is now managed to a target of 50 per cent of the original stock biomass. This is a conservative limit that enables productive commercial exploitation while minimising the risks of stocks becoming depleted. CCAMLR has adopted an ecosystem-based management system and has also substantially reduced levels of IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing and seabird bycatch.”
And a positive international perspective came last week from US-based National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry, who told Radio New Zealand this country’s approach to marine conservation was ahead of many other countries.
Skerry has spent 30 years documenting the beauty of the ocean and its marine life.
“There’s certainly big problems everywhere but New Zealand, in my estimation, has always been progressive in terms of taking a conservation approach, certainly with the EEZ and trying to create replenishment zones.”




Our condolences go out to the McLellan family whose father John died this week. John “Johnny Telstar” McLellan QSM, kept mariners safe while working the Moeraki Marine Radio for over five decades. John was the recipient in 2009 of the New Zealand Search and Rescue Council’s highest award, the NZSAR Gold Award for the most significant contribution to search and rescue in the New Zealand region, as well as the Queen’s Service Medal for services to marine search and rescue. He was also awarded life membership of both the Federation of Commercial Fishermen and North Otago Search and Rescue.



Visit our Conference Media Centre to catch the day's highlights, including speaker presentation videos and slides.




Correction SPO2

Our last Friday Update (September 18) included a news brief about MPI's sustainability measures for the new fishing year, in which we incorrectly included SPO2 among areas that saw a TAC increase. In fact, TAC/TACCs for the SPO2 area are at the same levels as last year. The error is regretted.


In the Media




Logan Brown head chef Shaun Clouston with his Ora King Salmon creation. Photo: FairfaxNZ. 


Search for New Zealand's best salmon dish

Stuff (September 23) reported on the Ora King Salmon Awards, which recognise the best dishes created by chefs working with the brand. Twelve chefs are vying for New Zealand's best salmon dish title this year. Stuff's report featured Logan Brown Restaurant's head chef Shaun Clouston, who is one of the 12 chefs vying for the award. Clouston's creation for the competition is a combination of elderflower and green apple-cured loin, lightly blow-torched belly, salmon biltong, caviar and crackling. This year's winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Marlborough on October 20.
Click here for the full report




Sanford invests in factory trawler

Sanford (September 25) Sanford announced its decision today to invest in a freezer trawler with superior capability and capacity as well as processing flexibility. A media release issued by the company said the new trawler, called the F/V Granit, a 67-metre vessel currently operating in Norway, was well suited to New Zealand conditions and for Southern Ocean operations. Sanford’s Chief Executive Officer Volker Kuntzsch said the processing flexibility of the F/V Granit will ensure greater productivity through fully utilising the catch in line with specific customer demand. The ‘Granit’ is expected to arrive in New Zealand in the third quarter of 2016.




Aorere river in Golden Bay. Photo: Fairfax NZ. 


Aorere wins New Zealand's Riverprize

Stuff (September 23) reported on Golden Bay's Aorere River winning the Morgan Foundation's NZ Riverprize for restoration. The river's restoration programme was led by the region's dairy farmers, shellfish farmers, the wider rural community and was supported by the New Zealand Landcare Trust, which entered the project in the awards. 
Click here for the full report




White-capped albatross. Photo: Southern Seabird Solutions Trust. 


2015 Seabird Smart Awards

Nominate a mate!

Do you know someone who is going the extra mile to look after seabirds while fishing? It could be an individual, a crew or company committed to making a real difference for seabirds. Nominations for the awards are open until October 18. Email or
Click here to fill a nomination form 



Port Chalmers Seafood Festival

It's the Port Chalmers Seafood Festival tomorrow with a variety of seafood stalls, entertainment, and demonstrations. 11am-5pm, Saturday, September 26, Port Otago. 
Click here for more information.




Gone Fishin' again

TradeZone Gone Fishin’ with Graeme Sinclair will begin airing series 23 from October 3. The first episode will feature Stewart Island, salmon farms and oyster cultivation in Big Glory Bay, an aquaculture innovation and a visit to Barnes Oysters. On TV3 at 5pm on Saturday, October 3 and the following Saturday at 7am.
Click here for more updates



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