Thursday, May 6, 2021
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Sustainability Measures Set New Fishing Limits


Fisheries New Zealand has today announced changes to
catch limits for 14 fish stocks and the introduction of a
full year-round closure to harvesting shellfish at Cockle
Bay/Tuwakamana on Auckland’s east coast.

Director of
Fisheries Management, Emma Taylor says the changes are part
of a regular review to ensure the ongoing sustainability of
New Zealand’s fish resources.

“Our oceans and
fisheries are important to all New Zealanders – they
provide food for our whānau and jobs in our communities. By
reviewing catch limits and other management measures, we
help ensure their long-term sustainability for all New
Zealanders to enjoy.

“Of the 14 stocks reviewed,
catch limits will increase for five stocks, four will
decrease, and five remain unchanged. A full year-round
closure to the take of shellfish in Cockle Bay/ Tuwakama in
the Hauraki Gulf will also be introduced.

The Cockle
Bay closure will come into effect on 1 May 2021, which is
when the beach would have previously opened under the
current seasonal closure that is in place.

The
following will change from 1 April 2021:

  • Giant
    spider crab in the Chatham Rise, South East Coast, and
    Southland/Southern offshore islands (GSC 3, 5, & 6A) –
    increases to catch limits reflecting the increased abundance
    of stock.
  • Red rock lobster in Gisborne (CRA 3) and
    Wellington/Hawke’s Bay (CRA 4) – catch limits will
    decrease to ensure the stocks remain
    sustainable.
  • Red rock lobster in Northland (CRA 1)
    and Canterbury/Marlborough (CRA 5) – no change to limits
    as stocks are currently at sustainable levels. These will
    continue to be closely monitored.
  • Packhorse rock
    lobster nation-wide (PHC 1) – a moderate catch increase.
    Information shows this stock is doing well and more can be
    sustainability harvested.

Catch limits to the
following will come into effect on 1 October
2021:

  • Blue cod in the Chatham Islands (BCO 4) –
    A Total Allowable Catch (TAC) has been set for the first
    time. The commercial catch limit will remain
    unchanged.
  • Elephantfish at the West Coast and top of
    the South Island (ELE 7) – no change to catch
    limits.
  • Flatfish at the East Cape, Hawke’s Bay,
    Wellington and Taranaki (FLA 2) – catch limits will be
    decreased due to sustainability concerns if fully
    fished.
  • Dark ghost shark at the East Coast of
    Northland, Auckland, and the Bay of Plenty (GSH 1) – A TAC
    has been set for the first time. Available information
    suggests there is an opportunity for increased utilisation.
    As such, a small increase to the Total Allowable Commercial
    Catch (TACC) has also been made.
  • Giant stargazer
    (STA 1) in Waikato, Auckland, Northland, and Bay of Plenty
    – A TAC has been set for the first time. The commercial
    catch limit will remain unchanged.
  • Yellow-eyed
    mullet in Waikato, and the West Cost of Auckland and
    Northland (YEM 9) – a decrease to the catch limits to
    ensure sustainable management an respond to environmental
    impacts on the fishery.

“New science suggests
packhorse rock lobster populations have increased in recent
years which means more can be sustainably harvested. A total
allowable catch limit will be set for the first time and a
moderate increase made to the commercial catch
limit.

“The changes to catch limits for flatfish and
yellow-eyed mullet take into consideration factors on the
marine ecosystem that may affect productivity, such as
habitat degradation or pollution.

“We review stocks
in April and October every year, using the best scientific
information available, to determine if changes are required
to management settings to ensure our fisheries remain
sustainable. If the science tells us more fish can be
sustainably caught, then we increase the catch limits.
However, if this information shows the opposite, we look to
reduce the catch limits to help rebuild
stocks.

“This information, along with feedback
received from tangata whenua and public consultation, allows
Fisheries New Zealand to provide the Minister for Oceans and
Fisheries with advice on changing catch limits,” says Emma
Taylor.

For more Information on the changes
visit:

https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/review-of-sustainability-measures-2021-april-round
 

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