New Zealand fisheries giving strong sustainability performance

The latest Status of New Zealand Fisheries report, published recently by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), touts the progress of the country’s fisheries.

Around 83 percent of New Zealand’s individual fish stocks of known status and 97 percent of landings rank as "above" or "well above" the acceptable benchmark for sustainability.

“These figures are the result of a robust process and show that we are as good as or beyond the standard of the best in the world,” said Seafood New Zealand Chief Executive Tim Pankhurst.

There were 27 stocks considered to be overfished or below the soft limit, according to the report: Southern bluefin tuna, Pacific bluefin tuna and bigeye tuna (all highly migratory species that are present seasonally in New Zealand waters), three stocks of black cardinalfish, five stocks of bluenose, four stocks or sub-stocks of orange roughy, three stocks or sub-stocks of snapper, two stocks or sub-stocks of John dory, two stocks or sub-stocks of scallops, and one stock or sub-stock each of flatfish, oyster, paua, pipi and freshwater eels. Officials are working to enact and enforce program total allowable catch reductions in order to replenish the depleted stocks back to target levels.

Another positive move toward sustainabiliity is the seafood industry's support of a decrease in rock lobster catch limits in Wellington and Hawke’s Bay, based on concerns about falling stock counts there. It's an excellent example of commercial stakeholders taking a long-term view of sustainability, according to Seafood New Zealand.

“New Zealand can be proud of its world leading fisheries management system underpinned by our 30-year-old quota management system," Pankhurst said. "These results provide assurance that our fisheries are in good heart and through the prudent management we have in place will be there for generations to come."


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