Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 4 September 2015



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


Friday, September 04, 2015


Watch video 

How much small snapper do commercial fishers
really catch? New study busts myths around undersize snapper catch.


Best practice fisheries management

When then Independent Newspapers head Mike Robson was urged to buy the NZ Fishing News magazine he wrinkled his nose and said it was full of dead fish.
Mike, a golfer, did not get fishing.
But urged on by his offsider Rick Neville, who catches a lot of fish, the magazine was added to the INL stable.
Nearly 20 years later Mike has passed on, INL has been swallowed by Fairfax, Rick still catches lots of fish on his way out to Waiheke and Fishing News is still full of pictures of dead fish.
So, too, is nzfisher, this month celebrating its 50th issue.
So on that evidence New Zealand’s recreational fishery is in good heart.
Given we are both in the business of catching fish, we invited Fishing News editor Grant Dixon to speak at last month’s Seafood NZ annual conference and flew him to Wellington.
His brief was to give the recreational perspective on our shared fishery and on building bridges between the commercial and recreational sectors.
Grant previewed his talk in his editorial in the September issue of his magazine.
It begins: As you read this, I will have delivered an address to the Seafood NZ conference in Wellington. I may or may not be in one piece!
He need not have feared. Commercial fishers are gentle folk who respect others’ views.
Some were sorely tested though. Grant struggled at times to be conciliatory and harked back to the overfishing and collapse of fisheries such as oysters at the turn of the century. That’s the 20th century. And Bluff oysters seem to be doing pretty well now.
Grant’s thesis is that inshore fisheries are on the brink of collapse, akin to Cold War nuclear annihilation, that we need an abundant fishery rather than maximum sustainable yield, that recreational fishers don’t get a fair go, are actively discriminated against in some areas and there is no such thing as a shared fishery.
The contrast with Gone Fishin’s Graeme Sinclair, who spoke before him, was marked.
Graeme’s catch phrase is Gifts and Gains, that is looking to compromise and ease tensions rather than throwing stones.
But being a good journalist Grant does want to be balanced, albeit within the confines of his electorate, and offered to cover some wider viewpoints. 
The sort of stories we would like to see include the healthy state of our fish stocks as outlined by Dr Pamela Mace, MPI principal fisheries science adviser, at the conference Grant attended and as detailed in the current Seafood magazine.
And last week there was more good news in that a 12-month MPI monitoring programme in the snapper 1 fishery centred on the Hauraki Gulf found commercial fishers are catching only a tiny percentage of undersized fish.
The figure was just 3.3 per cent, much less than previously thought.
The way is now clear for responsible recreational fishers to record their catches in line with best practice.
The commercial fishing industry is behaving responsibly, is becoming more transparent and is protecting the resource.
Some wider recognition of that would not go amiss.
There are still plenty of fish in the sea, despite the doomsayers’ claims. The scientific evidence and all those magazine trophy pictures confirm that.
The Fishing News also had a shock for me – an obituary on Shane Kelly, dead of cancer at just 59.
Known to some as Belly on account of his girth, Shane was a character of the first order.
We worked together as reporters on the Melbourne Sun in the 1970s, when heavy boozing at the Phoenix in Flinders St was part of the job description.
We caught up again in London where he worked on a yachting magazine and in Auckland where he edited Sea Spray and then set up a marine-based PR company.
Then there was the mid winter fishing contest at Cooks Beach on the Coromandel where Shane cleaned up on the snapper.
But we drifted apart and I never did see Shane play in his rock band Retros at Swashbucklers or share in more mad adventures involving fish, Steinlager and smokes.
Like many who love fishing and the sea, recreational and commercial, Shane was a good bugger.
His untimely death is a reminder that if you have not seen a once close friend for many years, give them a call before it is too late.



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




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Seafood New Zealand CE Tim Pankhurst's Conference overview.


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In the Media



Undersized snapper catch results

Stuff (September 2) reported on how a newly released Ministry for Primary Industries report could ease concerns about major fish dumping. The report said results of the MPI study put the number of undersized snapper caught in the Snapper 1 area – from Northland to the Bay of Plenty - at 3.3 per cent of the total commercial catch. The report quoted MPI Inshore Fisheries manager Steve Halley as saying according to the new information, the amount of catch of undersize fish is very small relative to the overall sustainable harvest from the fishery (8050 tonnes) and the number of snapper overall.
Click here for the full report.




National recognition for Blenheim seafood company

Stuff (September 2) reported on Blenheim based Omega Seafoods finding recognition in a national competition promoting small to medium-sized businesses. The company was selected from 424 applicants to a final group of six businesses in the Westpac Business Growth Grant programme. The competition included businesses with a turnover up to $5 million with a solid growth plan. Omega Seafoods managing director Chris Redwood said the competition involved "pitching the company's marketing and export plans to a panel of business leaders in a 'dragon's den' style 15-minute presentation".
Click here for the full report.



Omega Seafoods managing director Chris Redwood and marketing manager Johanna O'Connell. Photo: Derek Flynn/Fairfax Media.



Black market fishing targeted in Hawke's Bay sting operation

Stuff (September 2) reported on the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) carrying out a large raid on black market fishing in Hawke's Bay following an 18-month undercover investigation into the alleged illegal sale of paua and crayfish. The report said the raids, part of 'Operation River', involved searches of 22 dwellings in Napier, Hastings and Mahia, as well as the inspection of commercial fishing businesses in Napier and Hastings. The report also quoted Seafood New Zealand chief executive Tim Pankhurst applauding MPI for its investigation. "Everybody is affected when fisheries rules are broken. Poaching and trading in black market seafood robs all New Zealanders, those who depend on the sea for their livelihood through legitimate fishing under our Quota Management System and the many thousands who enjoy fishing for recreational pleasure," Pankhurst said.
Click here for the full report.



Ministry officials believe there had been illegal trading of 600 crayfish and 1.8 tonnes of paua.
File photo.



Alarm over fanworm invasion

NZ Herald (August 27) reported on Whangaroa Harbour users calling on authorities to help halt the spread of the Mediterranean fanworm, an invasive marine pest, which locals say will wipe out jobs and native species. The report said a fishing boat moored at Whangaroa's Clansman Wharf, Catherine II, was last week found to be infested with hundreds of Mediterranean fanworms. The fanworm forms dense clumps that crowd out other filter-feeding species. Their rapid growth and sheer weight can also cause problems for boats and floating pontoons.
Click here for the full report.



Fanworms removed from the hull of the infested boat. Photo: The Northland Age.




Seafood Directions 2015 

There are just over two months to go before Seafood Directions 2015 kicks off in Perth, Western Australia from October 25-27. Among the conference highlights this year is the keynote address by Marine Stewardship Council Chief Executive Rupert Howes. The packed Conference Programme of 52 presentations over two days would make the upcoming international seafood conference one of the biggest ever. Delegates, their partners and families can also opt for a special Seafood Industry Tour and experience Western Australia after the conference.
Visit the Seafood Directions website