Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 31 March 2017


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

Captain's Blog

March 31, 2017

Government needs to partner with Maori on fisheries issues

Management of the marine environment must be done in conjunction with the Treaty partner, the Maori Fisheries conference was told this week.
Te Ohu Kaimoana chair Jamie Tuuta said the 1992 Maori Fisheries Settlement (the Sealord deal) confirmed an ongoing relationship between the Crown and iwi over fisheries matters.
"The fisheries settlement isn't done, it isn't in the past," Tuuta said.
"Riding roughshod over these agreements and making unilateral decisions that affect our future are to be met with strenuous objection.
"Which is to say, in Ngapuhi vernacular, a punch-up."
It was a belated recognition of those rights that led to the proposed Kermadecs ocean sanctuary, announced without consultation by Prime Minister John Key at the United Nations, being put on hold.
Maori Party co-leader and Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell told the conference his party came close to walking out of its coalition agreement with the Government over the Kermadecs.
He said the issue was now stalled until after this year's election and there was no appetite to bring it back beforehand.
"When you stand on principle you come out on the right side," he said.
"At stake was every Treaty settlement."
Tuuta said Maori had taken their eye off the ball in defending their rights and the conference sought to redress that with the theme wa muri ka oti amua - to understand the past is to know the future.
"The properties of the Quota Management System - perpetuity, security and sustainability - were the incentives Maori required for long-term management, recognising that future generations would benefit or otherwise from the actions of the current generation," he said.
"The quota represented a right to fish in perpetuity, which is what Maori sought and the Maori Fisheries Settlement was the result.
"Maori endorsed the QMS in 1992 as a suitable regime for the sustainable management of commercial fisheries. It is the only fisheries management regime that has been agreed and endorsed by Maori.
"There is no other.
"The fisheries settlement was the beginning of a collective iwi economic awakening and revitalisation for Maori.
"If the settlement is worth anything at all, it's worth fighting for."
The conference at the Tainui-owned Novotel Hotel in Auckland on Wednesday, attended by 340 delegates including over 40 iwi representatives, had a wide-ranging agenda that included the economy, environment and politics.
Sir Tipene O'Regan, one of the four original Maori fisheries negotiators, said there was always chicanery, malevolence and general nastiness in every Cabinet but there is a strain within pakeha politics of political and constitutional decency. This was epitomised by former Attorney-General Sir Geoffrey Palmer who supported the Maori claim.
"We have memory, the Crown doesn't, it has a lobotomy every three years."
He said Maori had enough economic strength to set the agenda but needed to determine where they wanted to go.
 Iwi Collective Partnership general manager Maru Samuels had a message for environmental lobby groups and Government.
Environmental NGOs should stop side-stepping Maori commercial fisheries and instead work in partnership.
And the Government had to engage the treaty partner on all law and policy impacting on the fisheries settlement.

Trade was on the menu this week with the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
So too were trios of steamed Coromandel green-lipped mussels served on slices of venison marinated in Shaoxing rice wine.
That was at a highly choreographed lunch for 500 guests in Auckland on Tuesday hosted by Prime Minister Bill English in honour of our major trading partner and number one seafood export market.
Symbolism and partnership were the themes.
Thus the King Country beef tenderloin main course was paired with caramelised ginger Sichuan peppers, Chinese eggplant and black garlic purée, shiitake mushrooms and Tientsin cabbage.
Maori warriors and waiata mingled with an undulating orange dragon and drummers and a duet from Bizet's Pearl Fishers was sung by east and west - Clinton Fung and Filipe Manu.
Premier Li was conciliatory towards the US, threatening to be more protectionist under President Trump, saying the shared interests outweighed the differences and that was good for New Zealand and Australian interests as well.
Formal talks on upgrading the eight-year-old free trade agreement between the two countries, China's first with a developed country, will begin later next month.
Trade Minister Todd McClay has formed a ministerial advisory group to allow greater input and communication in formulating the trade agenda.
The 23-member group includes Seafood New Zealand.

Seafood industry welcomes trade policy refresh

The seafood industry has welcomed the government’s launch of its refreshed trade policy strategy.
Prime Minister Bill English launched ‘Trade Agenda 2030’ this morning.
Seafood New Zealand Chief Executive Tim Pankhurst said export trade was extremely important to the seafood industry, with exports for 2016 sitting at $1.8 billion across a diverse range of products and markets.
“We appreciate the work the government has been doing in securing free trade agreements (FTAs) with our trading partners and the target to have 90 percent of New Zealand exports covered by FTAs by 2030 is worthy.
Read more

Sustainable New Zealand Seafood Promoted

Australians are being told to choose New Zealand seafood on Sustainable Seafood Day, which will be celebrated on 31 March throughout Australia. This is because over 50 percent of New Zealand’s wild catch is now certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.
Sustainable Seafood Day is an annual initiative by the global certification standard for sustainable seafood, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). It brings together government, industry, environmental groups and all those involved along the supply chain to acknowledge the commitments demonstrated thus far, and is a reminder for Australian consumers, although all consumers should take note, to do their part to ensure our oceans are teeming with life for generations to come.
“With the global population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 and ever increasing demands for food, it’s vital that marine habitats are protected by maintaining environmentally sustainable, productive fisheries” says Jo-anne McCrea, WWF Australian Fisheries and Seafood Manager.
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In the Media

Dolphins released from purse seiner net 

Sunlive (29 March) A Tauranga skipper who released 30 tonnes of jack mackerel to save six dolphins caught in his net is being praised by Sanford Ltd and recreational fishers who saw it happen.
The San Columbia was purse seining between Motiti Island and Mount Maunganui last Thursday when the incident occurred. 
Recreational fisher Paul Bowyer saw the drama unfold and said the skipper did everything he could to let the dolphins out before releasing the catch. 
“They tried their hardest to get them out of their net without losing their catch, because they had a huge amount of fish in there," Bowyer said.
“We don't know how the dolphins got in there. We arrived on site looking for tuna and the dolphins were in the net.”
Sanford Ltd general manager corporate communications Fiona MacMillan said the skipper made the right decision to release the dolphins unharmed.
“Sanford supports the skipper and believes he did the right thing in saving the dolphins and all the fish.  Costs comes second in a situation like this." 
Even though the fish were able to swim away, the catch would still count against the company's annual catch entitlement.
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Kermadec puts Maori rights 'at stake'

NZ Herald (29 March) Te Ohu Kaimoana chairman Jamie Tuuta says the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill makes it clear that Maori rights are at stake.
Tuuta made the comments at the Maori Fisheries Conference in Auckland on Wednesday. 
Te Ohu Kaimoana has been fighting with government over the bill, arguing it undermines the Treaty of Waitangi Settlement Act 1992.
"The Sanctuary Bill raised important issues of ownership, of Treaty rights, Crown relations and the nature of the Māori Fisheries Settlement," Tuuta said.
"It raised issues of fisheries and the environment, as well as international access to New Zealand fisheries, and conversely New Zealanders’ access to international fisheries."
Tuuta questioned why a sanctuary was needed when the Fisheries Act and QMS were perfectly capable of managing sustainability.
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Award nomination for Sanford's approach to sustainability in the Marlborough Sounds

Stuff (24 March) Sanford Ltd has entered the Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards for a range of initiatives it takes to keep the Marlborough Sounds marine environment healthy.
With 185 mussel farms located throughout the Sounds the company has invested in a raft of work, from monitoring water quality to beach clean-ups.
General manager of sustainability Lisa Martin said keeping the environment clean was at the crux of their work in the area.
"Obviously our mussel production relies on a healthy marine environment. So from our point of view, our drive is to take care of the Sounds," Martin said.
Sanford has also made the move to vegetable-based oil in hydraulic machinery and is filtering out hydrocarbon pollutants from bilge water before it is dispensed into the sea.
Grant Boyd, Sanford's farm development manager, summed up their attitude.
"We live and work and play in the Sounds. We want to look after it."
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Fisheries 'cheated' by limits, illegal catches - lobby group

RNZ (25 March) The New Zealand Rock Lobster Industry Council says the commercial sector is shouldering the burden, in the form of catch reductions, for widespread fish thievery. 
The commercial catch limit was reduced by 23 tonnes for Gisborne (CRA3) and 108 tonnes for Wellington/Hawke's Bay (CRA4), whilst Otago (CRA7) was increased by 15 tonnes.
Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy said the changes reflect his desire to maximize sustainability.
"Regular monitoring and amendments to catch limits are key parts of our fisheries management system. They are informed by science and ensure we have a flexible and responsive system," Guy said.
Chief executive of NZRLIC Daryl Sykes said he supported reductions but not when they only effected the commercial sector.
"We should be well past the time when shared fisheries management decisions can only impact on commercial operators to address observed declines in stock abundance," Sykes said.
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