Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 30 June 2017

Captain's Blog

June 30, 2017

Seafood industry to share its stories

The stories of the men and women who harvest and process our seafood throughout the country are about to be showcased.
For two weeks earlier this month a film crew travelled from Bluff to Auckland and many points in between to capture the role of the seafood industry.
That saw them experiencing everything from seasickness in Foveaux Strait to overnighting on a longlining vessel off Coromandel, to a spiritual gathering at a marae and introduction to kaitiakitanga, the concept of guardianship.
The resultant mini-documentaries will be available on our newly built seafood.co.nz website, which will be launched on Sunday after midday.
The programmes were not scripted and there are no actors. They present the voices representative of the 20,000 plus Kiwis who are directly employed in the industry plus the many more in related roles such as engineering and education.
The public will be encouraged to access the web-based episodes through mainstream television and online advertisements.
Those featured include skippers, crews, educators, processors and community leaders.
Those like Cordelia Calder, who enjoys “being a girl in a boy’s world” as a crew member on her father’s oyster boat, or Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese whose community is reliant on fishing and says “we are people of the sea”, and Kaikoura paua diver Jason Ruawai prepared to wait seven years or more for the fishery to recover from last year’s earthquake, or deepsea skipper Rex Chapman marvelling at the technology that films live fish a kilometre deep and guides adjustments to the trawl.
The 4-5 minute mini-documentaries will be promoted through short pointers on television and digital media.
They are driven off a promise to every New Zealander that will be launched on Sunday.
That promise is “to be guardians of our oceans and to continue finding new ways to lead the world with sustainable practices – right now and for decades to come”.
We concede “we may not always get it right but we’re committed to always exploring ways to do things better.
“We have nothing to hide and much to be proud of.”
That promise is not an empty one, it is backed by a six-point code of conduct.
That includes a commitment to being accountable for delivering on our promise and to supporting increased transparency.
We understand that much of what we do is over the horizon and out of sight and we welcome the public becoming better acquainted with how we operate.
Increased transparency is part of building that understanding and trust but it must also be affordable and practical and give due respect to the privacy and dignity of our people.
There have been many innovative and exciting developments over the past few years but these are not always well known.
We think it is time to tell our story, which is one of industry supporting dozens of communities throughout the country and one of world-leading, cutting edge technology that is making a real difference to the way commercial fishing targets its catch, while lessening its environmental footprint.
We recognise there will always be criticism of the industry – and in some cases that may be deserved, but in many others it is a misrepresentation.
That is why we are stepping up to deliver a promise to the people of New Zealand about our care for the environment and intent to deliver best fishing practice.
There is huge effort being put into mitigating any captures of seabirds and marine mammals and fishers are trained in this technology and are proud to use it.
New Zealand is a fishing nation. We are people of the sea. We hope people will take the time to watch and listen to our stories.

Government: Scallop fishery in Nelson - Marlborough closed

Continued low scallop levels at the top of the South Island have forced a further temporary closure of the Southern Scallop fishery SCA 7, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.
The 2017/18 season closure affects scallop fisheries in Golden Bay, Tasman Bay and the Marlborough Sounds. It also includes the neighbouring Port Underwood area.
“I closed parts of the fishery last season after surveys showed a substantial decline in scallop numbers. This has allowed the fishery to be rested, but surveys this year show the stocks have still not recovered significantly,” Guy said.
“A further closure is needed to give more time for recovery and to carry out important research on the fishery."
Guy said the Government has committed $400,000 over two years to a comprehensive research programme to better understand what has caused their decline and options to help them recover.
Read more

Ocean Bounty

This week Ocean Bounty takes a day trip out of Picton chasing hoki.
Hoki form huge schools and are an example of a well-managed fishery. 
Tune in to Three at 5pm on Sunday to check it out, and if you missed last week’s episode on precision seafood harvesting, click here to watch it OnDemand

Gone Fishin'

The 24th season of Gone Fishin' will be on repeat starting this Saturday on Three. Tune in at 11am to catch the action.

Roughy on the Rise

You can now purchase a copy of Roughy on the Rise, the story of New Zealand's most controversial fishery. The story of orange roughy is one of cowboys, characters and conservation.
Roughy on the Rise charts the discovery of this mysterious deepwater fish, its exploitation, its depiction by environmental NGOs as the epitome of unsustainable fishing, the slow unlocking of its secrets, its key role in bankrolling the development of the New Zealand seafood industry - and latterly its recovery.
Click here to purchase a copy

2017 Seafood Industry Conference - Registrations now open

Register now for the 2017 Seafood Industry conference.
We have a full programme including local and international speakers.
One of the sessions will look at collaborative conservation and the state of our fisheries.  We will hear from Graham Parker who has spent the past nine years focusing on seabird conservation research on land and at sea.
You can view Graham's full profile here.
We will also hear from MPI's Shelton Harley about the status of our fish stocks and how New Zealand compares globally.
The conference is preceded by a Technical Day on 2 August at Te Papa. The programme for this is shaping up well with a wide range of speakers. You can view details for the Technical Day here. 
To register for conference and the technical day, click here.

In the Media

MPI: Illegal recreational set-net to blame for dead Hector's dolphin

NZ Herald (28 June) An investigation by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Department of Conservation has found an illegal set-net was at fault for the death of a Hector's dolphin found on the West Coast earlier this year.
The dolphin was found by a member of the public on a Greymouth beach in March.
MPI compliance investigations manager Gary Orr said the investigation was "very thorough".
"We made sure that no stone was unturned. After a nearly three month-long investigation, reviewing the pathology report and examining data and environmental considerations, we have concluded that this animal's death was very likely to have been the result of the dolphin becoming fatally entangled in an illegal recreational set-net," Orr said.
"The type of deep and narrow lacerations on its body are consistent with monofilament net which is used by recreational fishers rather than trawl mesh which is used by commercial fishers."
Read more

High Court judgement creates confusion

The seafood industry will examine the High Court's decision on the role of regional councils in marine management to understand its full implications.
The judgement suggests a statutory overlap between the Fisheries Act and the Resource Management Act, which is unsatisfactory.
The judgement will only increase the current confusion and uncertainty for the Government and the regional councils as to their relative roles.
This ambiguity is to no benefit and undermines the ability of the Minister for Primary Industries to coherently provide for the sustainable management of fisheries under the purpose built fisheries legislation and give effect to the Crown’s obligations under fisheries settlement with Maori.
That will be very difficult to achieve through actions taken independently by 17 separate councils that have no specific expertise in fisheries management.

Kaikoura rock lobster stocks at threat due to tourism

Radio NZ (26 June) Kaikoura's rock lobster stocks are under threat from tourists on charter vessels taking more than they need, according to local fishers.
CRAMAC5 executive chairman Larnce Wichman said currently charter vessels were bound by recreational quota limits, but were operating in a commercial capacity.
"Technically they're [tourists] allowed six lobsters per person and one of these boats can take out 80 people per day. When you've got them going out, say, 150 to 200 days a year, that's a substantial amount of harvesting from a localised fishery," Wichman said.
Kaikoura Fishing Charters operator Eion Fitzgibbon said the resource was under pressure and he imposed his own limits on tourists.
"We never tell them they're allowed six. They tell us they are, but we just say, 'no, not on our boat. We've got to look after them and farm them - you don't need six'," Fitzgibbon said.
Read more

Seabird Smart Awards 2017

Here’s your chance to spread the word about your fleet’s achievements. Nominations are now open for the 2017 Seabird Smart Awards, so if you know someone who is making an extra effort to look after seabirds go online and nominate them.
The awards are run by the Southern Seabird Solutions Trust and aim to recognise outstanding leadership and commitment to looking after New Zealand seabirds.
You could nominate a skipper or crew, a manager, or even a vessel. Basically it can be anyone associated with fishing in any kind of role.
The 2017 awards function is timed to coincide with an international meeting of seabird experts from thirteen countries being held in Wellington in September.
Click here to learn more or nominate someone

2017 Seafood Star Awards

Nominations for the Seafood Star Awards are now open.
The categories for this year's awards are:
- Young Achiever Award
- Longstanding Service Award
- Future Development Innovation Award
The Seafood Stars Awards will run across all facets of the industry and will be presented to those who have made a significant contribution to the seafood industry.
Click here to download the form and nominate someone.