Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 9 September 2016

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

Captain's Blog

September 9, 2016 

Fishing restrictions must be backed by full consultation and solid science

  The world’s largest conservation event is being held in Hawaii this week, with marine protection to the fore.
  Two motions to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) meeting concerned locking up vast areas of ocean under no-take marine protected areas.
  Already reeling from the New Zealand Government’s decision to ban all fishing in 620,000 square kilometres of ocean in the Kermadecs region without consultation, the seafood industry and iwi feared they were about to be Kermadecked again.
 The motions called on all member countries to commit to making 30 percent of their waters fully marine protected.
  Adding to the alarm was a refusal by the lead agency, the Department of Conservation, to indicate how New Zealand would vote, consistent with the IUCN process.
   Seafood NZ, Deepwater Group, Fisheries Inshore NZ and Te Ohu Kaimoana deplored the lack of any consultation and urged the Government not to support the motions, which it did ultimately abstain from.
    “Arguments for 30 percent no-take MPAs are arbitrary and non-scientific and ignore opportunities for more appropriate, effective and innovative solutions to conserve biodiversity,” the seafood groups said.
  SNZ chair George Clement said there was no good reason to close 30 percent of New Zealand’s EEZ to all use, for all time.
  “More than 90 percent has never been touched, so there’s a lot of zone that is pristine.
   “If we as a country were to close a lot of that off for posterity, or because it makes them feel good, then we should have an open discussion about that. To date there has been no open discussion.”
  Iwi Collective Partnerships general manager Maru Samuels, who is in Hawaii as an observer, said there would be more Kermadecs-type confiscations if the IUCN proposal was adopted.
  He said conservation was critical but, so too, was funding from commercial fisheries that was channelled directly to iwi and down to communities dealing with social and health issues.
  Maori fought hard to regain their fishing rights and it was disappointing a generation later that the Crown was turning around and taking them away again, Samuels said.
   He was given the right to speak to the IUCN meeting and was then confronted by an angry Barry Weeber of the environmental grouping Eco, who prodded him and demanded to know “how dare you” speak for New Zealand.
   The demonstration eNGOs think their voice transcends indigenous and industry property rights is telling.
   As TOKM chair Jamie Tuuta said at last week’s Seafood NZ conference, as far as Maori are concerned a deal is a deal.
  Withdrawal of rights recognised under the 1992 Maori Fisheries Settlement – the Sealord deal - for ideological reasons would be opposed.
   Sir Tipene O’Regan, an architect of the deal, said it did not bode well that treaty promises could be trashed at the behest of “a religious movement”.
   Prime Minister John Key conceded the Kermadecs process could have been better handled but asked SNZ conference delegates to take a step back and consider what he was trying to do.
   He said “what you lose is tiny compared with what you stand to gain” in terms of reputation.
   That is a perfectly pragmatic position for a highly successful poll driven government but it is not guided by sustainability or principle.
   On the international front the beauty for the major powers in supporting large MPAs promoted by wealthy NGOs like Pew Charitable Trusts is that they can be imposed in remote ocean territories while also serving defence purposes. Thus Johnston and Wake atolls in the Pacific, the two largest no-take MPAs in the world, are administered by US defence agencies keen on monitoring and constraining vessel traffic. Johnston Atoll was the site of nuclear testing and more recently chemical weapons destruction. Ascension Island in the mid-Atlantic, centred on another MPA, hosts an airfield shared by UK and US military forces.
  New Zealand already has 30 percent of its EEZ dedicated to seabed sanctuaries where trawling and dredging are banned at the industry’s behest a decade ago.
  The industry and iwi message is clear. Any moves to further restrict commercial fishing have to be scientifically based and fully consulted on.
- Tim Pankhurst

Read more -

Radio NZ Morning Report
Tensions erupt over Kermadec Sanctuary
Seafood Industry Conference
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In the Media

Seafood NZ celebrates quota system

Stuff (September 3) reported on the New Zealand Seafood Conference last week that was attended by 300 delegates from all sectors of the seafood industry as well as international guests and speakers. Insights were shared from a scientific, retail, and economic point of view, while the future growth of Maori fisheries was also discussed. Seafood New Zealand Chairman George Clement said the industry continued to show strong growth with export earnings reaching $1.78 billion in the year to June, an increase of $201 million on the same time last year. Clement was confident of hitting the $2 billion mark in 2017 and in the longer term meeting the government's aspirational goal of doubling export revenues by 2025.
Read more

Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary deal
on the horizon

Newshub (September 9) reported on the Government being on the verge of striking a deal with Maori over the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary as it negotiates with the Maori Fisheries Trust - Te Ohu Kaimoana.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson has now been called in to help broker a deal with Māori out of court.
Environment Minister Nick Smith led the charge on the controversial sanctuary, which landed the Government in the High Court. Te Ohu Kaimoana lodged legal proceedings claiming the Kermadec sanctuary would extinguish Māori fishing rights in the area. Both ministers hosted a meeting with Te Ohu Kaimoana on Wednesday. It's understood Te Ohu Kaimoana is seeking an assurance that Māori fishing rights in the Kermadec area will not be expropriated. Read more
Whitianga fisher Adam Clow

More accolades for Whitianga fisher

SunLive News (September 3) reported on Whitianga fisherman Adam Clow, who has been recognised as a ‘Seafood Star' by Seafood New Zealand in its inaugural Seafood Stars Awards. Clow was awarded the Young Achiever Award for his leadership and work to reduce the risks to seabirds from fishing. Third generation fisherman and owner/skipper of the FV Southern Cross, Adam Clow was the joint winner of the award alongside Te Tane Trinick of Mt Cook Alpine Salmon. This latest accolade is the second Clow has received after winning the Seabird Smart Award for his innovative approach to reducing risks to seabirds from fishing in 2012.
Read more

Thousands set to savour seafood
at Whitianga Scallop Festival

Waikato Times (September 8) reported on the Whitianga Scallop Festival being set to welcome 5000 scallop lovers tomorrow. The festival, in its 12th year, will have 75 food stalls providing scallops, and all-day entertainment with three music stages. Event co-ordinator Fiona Kettlewell said stall holders were only permitted to use scallops from the Coromandel Peninsula. "That's why we do it, to promote the Coromandel Peninsula," Kettlewell said.
The event attracted visitors mainly from Waikato, Auckland and Bay of Plenty, though visitors had come from overseas as well, she said. Read more 
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New Zealand Aquaculture Conference 2016

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