Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 3 June 2016

 

 


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

Captain's Blog

 

June 3, 2016 

 

 

Imagining cameras in all
Greenpeace offices  

Greenpeace has lauded the fishing industry for its openness in supporting electronic surveillance on its vessels.
Okay, I made that up.
But the international environmental business has agreed to have cameras placed in all its offices so that the public can be assured its motives are pure and its science sound.
Oh, alright, I made that up as well.
But there is so much misinformation, if not downright lies, flying around in the current campaign against commercial fishing that it is tempting to respond in kind.
However, we will stick to the facts.
Fishing companies are not monitoring themselves, as Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Russel Norman alleged in a breathless beat-up at the weekend.
Under the electronic monitoring of fishing vessels that is currently being rolled out, highly sophisticated, tamper resistant cameras with a 360-degree view are monitoring inshore boats at sea around the clock.
The footage is stamped with date, time and position as recorded by the on board Global Positioning System (GPS). The encrypted data is downloaded from the boat back in port to a secure computer.
The footage is available in full to the Ministry for Primary Industries’ fisheries section for monitoring of compliance with the Fisheries Act and Quota Management System. The review of the footage provides information that allows checking of on board catch data, which is also sent to MPI.
The camera footage is also available  to the vessel owners for internal fleet management.
Such an industry-backed system should be praised, should it not?
Not in the case of an international NGO intent on raising brand awareness and campaigning against the fishing industry, it seems.
There is nothing sinister in Trident Systems, an industry-owned and financed science body, developing the camera system. It is MPI that polices it.
The attack on Trident can be seen as part of an ongoing campaign centred on the Simmons report that alleges the fishing industry is dumping huge quantities of fish – more than twice the reported level. The methodology of the catch reconstruction over 61 years from 1950 is so opaque it is not possible to deduce how the total was arrived at. The report has been refuted by the International Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and its methodology questioned by Victoria University, the Ministry for Primary Industries and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research among others..
German conservation group Nabu is also piggybacking on the highly politicised Simmons report, falsely claiming a critically endangered Maui dolphin capture has been hushed up.
This week Nabu’s Barbara Maas was at it again, alleging on Australian national radio the current level of hoki fishing is unsustainable, as part of Nabu’s targeting of McDonald’s for selling the fish.
That, too, is bunkum. The hoki fishery has been certified three times now by the Marine Stewardship Council, the international gold standard of sustainable fisheries.
Where do such people get off? What they are doing is akin to economic sabotage. The fishing industry in New Zealand has operated under an internationally regarded Quota Management System for 30 years, it is a near $2 billion export earner, it provides healthy food, it employs 26,000 hard working, honest people and it does not deserve this sort of underhand  besmirching of its name.
Some of those fishers were at this week’s Federation of Commercial Fishermen conference in Christchurch and they are genuinely hurt and puzzled over the abuse coming their way.
 

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Seafood interests appeared before the select committee hearing submissions on the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill this week.
The thrust of the submissions from the New Zealand Fishing Industry Association, Solander Group, New Zealand Rock Lobster Industry Council, Paua Industry Council, Seafood New Zealand, Fisheries Inshore New Zealand, Te Ohu Kaimoana and Aotearoa Fisheries Limited was that the Bill undermined the rights that underpin the Quota Management System and the Maori Fisheries Settlement.
All of the industry groups support marine conservation but are opposed to the Bill in its current form and are highly critical of the inadequate process followed in the proposed locking up of an area of ocean twice the size of the New Zealand land mass.
Significant protections are already in place. Industry promoted Benthic Protection Areas that ban bottom trawling in 30 percent of the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone include the Kermadecs. The waters around the Kermadec islands are also fully protected, no take marine reserves out to 12 miles.
A much more sophisticated approach that allows for a degree of mixed use, including the current mid water pelagic longline fishery, is called for.
 
- Tim Pankhurst

 

 

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In the Media

 

 

 

Sanford keen to invest in New Zealand aquaculture

Intrafish (June 1) reported on Sanford supporting Southland's aquaculture sector as the region looks to learn from Scandinavia on boosting aquaculture growth in the region. Sanford CEO Volker Kuntzsch said the company was willing to invest further in the area. Currently, Sanford owns one of New Zealand's largest salmon farms in Big Glory Bay in Stewart Island. It also operates hatcheries on the Clutha and Wataki rivers and a processing plant in Bluff. 
Southland mayor Gary Tong was on an official visit to Norway and Iceland to explore growth opportunities in
the sector. Read more

 

 

 

Doug Saunders-Loder, President, New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen

 

Fish dumping a 'beatup' -
fishing federation

Radio New Zealand (June 2) reported on the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fisherman (NZFCF) president Doug Saunders-Loder saying the recent allegations of fish dumping were not a fair representation of the industry. Mr Saunders-Loder said at NZFCF's annual conference in Christchurch on Thursday that the actions of some have led to a huge misunderstanding of the industry. "Fisheries management in New Zealand is in a good position and we need to acknowledge that and support those who work in the fishing industry." Read more

 

 

Seafood NZ accuses environment activists of 'economic sabotage'

ABC Australia (June 1) reported on Seafood New Zealand Chief Executive Tim Pankhurst disputing claims by conservationists that New Zealand fisheries put Maui dolphins at risk.
"What this organisation [Nabu International] is doing amounts to economic sabotage. We believe that they are prepared to tell outright lies and threaten retailers as part of that campaign," Mr Pankhurst said. 
Listen to full interview here

 

 

 

Sanford vessel 'San Kawhia'

 

Partnership with Trident 'no secret'

Intrafish (May 31) reported on Sanford Ltd CEO Volker Kuntzsch saying the industry partnerships with Trident to electronically monitor fishing at sea were no secret. "The industry partnerships with Trident are no secret, they are on the Trident website. We are proud of that work, this technology on our boats and the investment we are making, which we have been talking about for the past year." Read more

Also read: Aotearoa Fisheries rejects Greenpeace claims

 

 

 

Val Croon Junior catches crays on the Chathams. Photo: Don Paulin

 

Chathams on Country Calendar

Tomorrow's Country Calendar episode features the Chatham Islands and what it's like settling in New Zealand's most remote rural outpost. Greg Horler, who arrived on the islands for three months' work and ended up staying for over 30 years, has no regrets. "Where else could I have what I have here?  Amazing views, fishing, and hunting literally out my back door. It's magic." 
Watch tomorrow, 4 June at 7pm on TV1

 

 

 

SeaCert changes - Have your say

Maritime NZ wants to hear from seafarers on proposed changes to the SeaCert framework to make it easier and cheaper for some seafarers with older certificates to continue working. One proposal is to “ring-fence” some older tickets to allow seafarers to continue using them. Other proposed rule changes include removing the need for seafarers with Able Seaman certificates to transition to SeaCert, and no longer requiring ratings to renew certificates every five years.
Consultation will run until June 7 
Click here for consultation info