Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 4 November 2016

Captain's Blog

November 4, 2016
Commercial fishing supports Ross Sea marine reserve
The declaration of the Ross Sea marine reserve demonstrates conservation and sustainable commercial fishing can go hand in hand.
   The world’s largest marine reserve, spanning 1.55 million square kilometres of Antarctic waters, was announced last week.
   Russia and the United States are sabre rattling in Syria but they were able to overcome their differences sufficiently to agree on Southern Ocean protection. 
   The breakthrough came at the annual meeting in Hobart of the 24 countries and the European Union that make up the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
   New Zealand and the US have pressed for greater protection for the past four years but such a decision requires full consensus and a number of countries including Russia had not agreed to previous proposals.
  Final details are still to be decided during 2017. Including areas that have been previously closed to fishing by CCAMLR, the agreement will result in nearly three quarters of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) closed to all fishing, while allowing sustainable harvesting of fish and krill in other sections of the Ross Sea.
  The Ross Sea sustainable toothfish fishery was initiated by New Zealand through CCAMLR nearly 20 years ago.
  The New Zealand fishing industry recognises the Ross Sea is a unique and special area, which at the same time supports a very productive and sustainable fishery. From the start of the process industry has been involved as a stakeholder group to develop a workable MPA. While the final MPA design went further than industry thought was appropriate, it is committed to working with New Zealand Government officials and other nations to implement the right balance between environmental protection and sustainable fisheries practices.
  Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) received Marine Stewardship Council certification in November 2010.
  The MSC tick, regarded as the international sustainability gold standard, is based on third party assessment across three broad categories – maintenance of the target fish stock, maintenance of the ecosystem, effectiveness of the fishery management system.
   The Ross Sea fishery is strictly managed, with two observers carried on all vessels, and is restricted to an annual catch of about 2900 tonnes depending on the results of biennial stock assessments. Based on one of the first internationally successful tagging programmes; initiated by the New Zealand fishing industry in 2001; such assessments have been carried out annually or biennially since 2006. The yield estimates on which annual allocations are based are founded on a precautionary CCAMLR decision rule that states that at no time will the population spawning stock biomass drop below 50 percent over a 35 year horizon - that is the stock assessments are always looking 35 years ahead.  The current figure for spawning stock biomass after nearly 20 years of fishing is about 75 percent of the initial stock. 
   Other CCAMLR managed fisheries for Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) and Antarctic toothfish take place around South Georgia, Kergeulen and Heard and McDonald islands, and South Sandwich Islands, around the Antarctic continent in both East and West Antarctica.
   Toothfish, sold in the US as Chilean sea bass, is highly prized for its snow-white flesh, high in omega 3 content.
   In the Ross Sea, Antarctic toothfish are caught on longlines in deep water generally between 700 to 1800 metres and only in the summer months when the sea ice thaws allowing safe access for vessels.
    As well as protection for marine mammals, and fish the marine reserve encompasses the Ross Sea shelf, the Balleny islands region, and a representative area of seamounts.
    “This decision represents an almost unprecedented level of international co-operation regarding a large marine ecosystem comprising important benthic and pelagic habitats,” CCAMLR executive secretary Andrew Wright enthused.
  “It has been well worth the wait because there is now agreement among all members that this is the right thing to do.”
  The Ross Sea reserve decision, as complex and political and time consuming as it was, demonstrates the need for consultation – and patience – where a number of parties are involved.

- Tim Pankhurst
Have your say on issues raised in Friday Update.

Good fisherman, better mate
Seafood NZ extends its condolences to Edward Laurence (Ted) Collins who died at his home in Blenheim on October 30 at the age of 79. 
Daryl Sykes, NZ Rock Lobster CEO and friend of Ted's for over 40 years, said Ted began his career in fishing in 1958 and for 58 years was a pioneer, an entrepreneur, and a bloody good bloke.
"Ted was a unique and engaging character and for decades worked selflessly for the fishing industry.  There are no other ‘elder statesmen’ so widely acknowledged in the rock lobster industry – there is only Ted Collins."
Ted's funeral will be held at the Church of the Nativity on Alfred Street in Blenheim at 1pm tomorrow (November 5).
As a mark of respect to Ted, his family have suggested that donations to the New Zealand Shipwreck Welfare Trust in his name would be appropriate.
Trust details can be obtained at
Best Fish Guide for sustainable New Zealand seafood launched (October 28)
Consumers can choose sustainable New Zealand seafood with confidence, with the launch of Seafood New Zealand's updated Best Fish Guide website. The Best Fish Guide will let consumers check the sustainability credentials of all New Zealand commercial fish species, tips for buying fresh New Zealand seafood, and some great recipes. Seafood buyers can see for themselves just how sustainable and healthy New Zealand’s fish stocks are, backed by solid, science-based fisheries management.
Seafood New Zealand Chief Executive Tim Pankhurst says the Best Fish Guide is a great way of helping consumers choose from a wide range of nutritious and tasty seafood.
“We hope this guide helps everyone choose and enjoy New Zealand seafood with confidence.
“New Zealand is internationally respected for its innovative and world-leading approach to sustainable science-based fisheries and aquaculture management." The website will serve as a guide for individual consumers as well as top chefs in New Zealand and around the globe, who are keen to know all about New Zealand seafood’s sustainability credentials.

Browse our Best Fish Guide on

Download Media Release

In the Media

Dredging up theories on the collapse of the Southern Scallop Fishery
Stuff (October 29)
reports that for the first time in 35 year the Government has closed parts of the Southern Scallop Fishery.
In the Government's own words: "The [scallop] fishery in Golden and Tasman Bays has collapsed."
For only the second time ever, the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) stepped in and closed parts of the Southern Scallop Fishery, including the Marlborough Sounds and parts of eastern Tasman Bay in July, following public consultation.
The decision to shut down the fishery for the 2016-17 season, which runs from July 15 to February 14, was based on the "strong message of the scientific evidence" and public submissions, Primary Industries minister Nathan Guy said in a letter to stakeholders. 

Read more 
Overhaul puts trawler on new course
Otago Daily Times (November 2) reports on the refitting of 73m fishing trawler Melilla 203.The boat is docked in Otago Harbour and is expected to be seaworthy by the end of this year. The boat is owned by KNW Co Ltd and will catch fish for the Northland Deepwater Ltd Partnership.
Partnership director Phil Smith said the vessel would be renamed KNW 907, and was in the process of being reflagged to New Zealand.
The vessel would be used for fishing in the New Zealand exclusive economic zone, he said. 
Mr Smith would not say how much the overhaul would cost, but said the main engines and auxiliary motors were being refurbished, the factory inside would be replaced, onboard accommodation would be ''freshened up'', and the electronics and navigation equipment would be repaired.
Read more
Rachel Stewart: Path of destruction and dim-wittedness
NZ Herald (November 3)
columnist Rachel Stewart writes about her deep mistrust for the Ministry for Primary Industries. Stewart argues MPI's mis-handling of Maui dolphin numbers, bobby calf abuse and Operation Achilles has proven their inability to do their jobs.
MPI stands for everything wrong with this country, and then some. The ministry has forged a crooked path of destruction, deceit and dim-wittedness, she says.
Read more
Congratulations to Sanford mussel farm manager Zane Charman who, along with friend Greg Boyd, kayaked Cook Strait to raise money for charity. They completed the trip in under four hours and raised over $32,000 for the Kiwi Can programme. Read more
South-East Marine Protection Forum Public Consultation - Have your say
The South-East Marine Protection Forum has released a public consultation document and has called for submissions on initial proposals of 20 sites that could be included in a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) along the SouthEast Coast of the South Island from Timaru to Waipapa Point.
You can download the public consultation document, submission form and supporting documents on this link, or call 0800 687 729 to request a copy.
Copies will also be available for viewing at local council offices and public libraries throughout the region.
Submissions close 5pm, Tuesday, December 20, 2016.
Safer commercial fishing and internationally recognised tickets New Zealand is adopting international rules on certification for commercial fishermen, aimed at making fishing safer and ensuring New Zealand fishers will have their tickets recognised internationally.
Following public consultation in April 2015, the Government decided to accede to the International Maritime Organization’s International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995 (known as STCW-F).
The Convention covers crew working on fishing vessels of more than 24 metres in length or with propulsion power of 750kW or more, operating beyond 12 nautical miles from shore.
Maritime New Zealand is currently consulting on rule changes required as part of this process.

Have your say
The invitation to comment document is
available on the Maritime NZ website on
this link.
Consultation closes on November 7.
Seafood Industry Conference 
Speaker presentation slides and videos are now loaded on our website. 
Click the button below to browse and play.
Click below to browse October's Seafood New Zealand magazine