Fisheries New Zealand seeks feedback on proposed changes to catch limits

Fisheries New Zealand is seeking feedback on proposed changes to catch limits and other settings across a range of fisheries as part of its twice-yearly sustainability review.

“This is our regular review cycle for the fishing year beginning October 1 to ensure the sustainability of Aotearoa’s fisheries,” said Emma Taylor, Fisheries New Zealand’s director of fisheries management. “Every six months we review catch limits and settings across a range of fish stocks to ensure their long-term sustainability so that they can continue to be enjoyed by all kiwis, now and into the future.”

Ms Taylor said there are 20 stocks around the country that have been selected in this review, including four tarakihi stocks in a separate consultation that started last week. The proposals look at either reducing or increasing catch limits for the various stocks under review.

“Where information suggests more fish can be harvested sustainably,” Ms Taylor added, “we look to increase catch limits. On the other hand, if stocks aren’t as healthy, catch limits are reduced to help the fishery recover.”

Some proposals also set out precautionary measures recognising the importance of these species in the marine ecosystem and ensuring they are managed sustainably. An example of this is a proposal to reduce allowances for harvesting bladder kelp, which is not widely taken but is also affected by other factors such sedimentation.

“Bladder kelp plays a key role in health ecosystems and a reduction to the allowance would support the sustainability of this important marine species,” added Ms Taylor. “Once consultation closes, Fisheries New Zealand will analyse the submissions and make recommendations to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries to make a decision. Any changes to catch limits will come into effect from the new fishing year, beginning on October 1, 2022.

“We are also proposing standalone adjustments to deemed values for five fisheries. These are the rates fishers must pay if they catch fish outside their quota.”

Consultation is ongoing. Submissions can be made online by 17:00 NZST on July 22.


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