Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 28 August 2015



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


Friday, August 28, 2015


Dr  Pamela Mace

Watch Dr Pamela Mace, principal adviser fisheries science, MPI, speak about the improving state of New Zealand's fish stocks.


New Zealand seafood success story

New Zealand’s fish stocks up with the world’s best, says top scientist.
That was the headline this week across Stuff, The Dominion Post, Nelson Mail, Taranaki Daily News and Timaru Herald.
The good news delivered to that audience of several hundred thousand reflected an upbeat assessment revealed at last week’s Seafood NZ conference by Dr Pamela Mace, Ministry for Primary Industries principal fisheries science adviser.
New Zealand’s fish stocks are performing as well or better than any in the world, she said.
Any public perception that that was not the case was wrong.
Mace said when she looked at fish stocks around the world, New Zealand was “the best success story of all”.
“New Zealand’s fisheries are performing extremely well overall, at least as good as or beyond the standards of the best in the world. I don’t think there’s any question about that.”
She said of the 300-plus stocks, 83 per cent were above or well above the level where sustainability issues might be a concern. And that figure represented 96 per cent of landed fish.
The overall status had been steadily improving since 2008.
However, it does appear to be plateauing, there is still room for improvement and there are gaps in our knowledge.
Mace also felt the severity of the global fishing situation has been over exaggerated.
“The doom and gloom scenario certainly doesn’t reflect the situation in many developed countries. The United States in particular is doing extremely well improving the status of its stocks.”
EU countries were also making substantial progress after a long history of over-exploitation.
New Zealand’s situation was something to be proud of, Mace said.
Of four orange roughy stocks assessed last year, three had increased and were within or near the target management range.
Rock lobster and gurnard were generally performing well and elephant fish stocks had substantially rebuilt.
In all cases where stocks were below the soft or hard catch limits, rebuild measures had been put in place.
But there are always the doubters – Kiwis often seem more comfortable with talking themselves down.
“I’m just not convinced that many set quotas are as sustainable as they could be. Happy to be corrected!,” came a tweet from Rockburn Wines.
The sender was also concerned about hoki being on Greenpeace Canada’s red list of species to be avoided.
So at this end we forwarded Dr Mace’s full report to him. We noted hoki quotas had been reduced from 2001-07, resulting in those stocks increasing in size for eight consecutive years since. And the fishery has been independently certified as sustainable three times now under the exacting standards of the Marine Stewardship Council.
Yellow Brick Road’s Rachel Taulelei added her support.
“NGOS + MPI come at this from v. different positions, although end game is the same. That’s also a Canadian list.”
“Canadians may be worried but MSC is pretty stoked with it”.
As for Greenpeace, the ignorance and arrogance of decreeing what people should eat speaks for itself.
The result was Rockburn Wines changed their mind by the end of the conversation and said they were happy to be able to enjoy NZ hoki.
“Yay! I do like hoki,” they said.



Highlights from 2015 Seafood Industry Conference



Click the photo above for a link to our Conference Media Centre, which features the day's highlights, including speaker presentation videos and slides.



Read the latest Seafood New Zealand magazine issue online by clicking on the cover image.


In the Media




New Zealand fish stocks up with the world's best, says top scientist

Stuff (August 24) reported on Ministry for Primary Industries principal fisheries science adviser Dr Pamela Mace's address to the New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference about the state of our fish stocks. Stuff's news report quoted Dr Mace as saying New Zealand's fish stocks are performing as well or better than any in the world and the public perception is wrong. Dr Mace also said when she looked at fish stocks around the world, New Zealand was "the best success story of all". 
Click here for the full report.




Dr Shaun Ogilvie addressing the Seafood Industry Conference on August 19.


Scampi results excite scientists

Stuff (August 27) reported on Cawthron Institute's Dr Shaun Ogilvie's address to the New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference about the "exciting" progress in both catching wild scampi using pots, and raising them from eggs at the Cawthron Aquaculture Park near Nelson. Dr Ogilvie is heading a $7.8 million six-year research programme funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The report said scientists believe that could rise ten-fold by 2030 through a combination of more efficient wild harvest and aquaculture.
Click here for the full report.



Click to play Seafood NZ Chair George Clement's address
to Seafood Industry Conference on August 19.


Sustainability and safety of New Zealand seafood are givens 

Stuff (August 21) reported on Seafood New Zealand executive chairman George Clement's address to New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference about how sustainability and safety of New Zealand seafood were givens and there were other ways to promote it around the world. The report quoted Mr Clement saying there was a world-wide need for nutritious, safe and sustainable food, requiring a balance between preservation and conservation.
"The good thing is that we've got what the world needs, we've got food that's natural, healthy and safe, and if you look at the projections - we're well placed to take advantage of that increased demand," Mr Clement said. 
Click here to read the full report.




Hope for rejuvenation of
Nelson's scallops

Stuff Business (August 20) reported on a sense of optimism returning to the scallop industry and recreational sector in Nelson with the discovery of a large new scallop population in an area previously known only for oysters. The result is a possible increase from last year's commercial take of 30 tonnes (all from the Marlborough Sounds), to 50 tonnes, with 15 tonnes of that from the newly-found bed in outer Tasman Bay east of Pepin Island.
Click here to read the full report.