Sunday, June 23, 2024

East Coast tarakihi off the hook

Commercial catch limits for East Coast tarakihi will be further reduced, Oceans and Fisheries Minister, David Parker has announced.

The Minister said further commercial catch reductions of 15% from current levels would help to rebuild to the Government’s management target faster within a 15-year timeframe.

“Tarakihi is a popular fish, and this has led to declining levels over time. Many adjustments have been made and the stock is recovering,” said Mr Parker.

“Careful consideration goes into sustainability decisions to ensure that catch limits and non-commercial allowances are set appropriately.

“Where the information suggests more fish can be harvested sustainably, I have decided to increase catch allowances. On the other hand, where the information suggests there is a sustainability concern, I have made reductions to take pressure off those stocks.”

The decision is one of a range of changes to ensure sustainability announced following a review of catch limits and management settings across a number of New Zealand’s fisheries.

“Stocks where the current settings will remain the same, include the hoki fishery. This is New Zealand’s largest fishery by volume and contributes significantly to our economy. It is expected to build over time under the current catch settings,” the Minister said.

“I have instructed my officials to closely monitor the hoki fishery, and to consider reviewing the stock again next year following its annual assessment.”

Other stocks where catch limits are being decreased:

  • Blue warehou off the coasts of Taranaki, Wellington, East Cape and Hawke’s Bay
  • Blue cod across the West Coast and Top of the South Island.

Stocks where catch limits are being increased:

  • Gemfish across the entire South Island, Chatham Islands and West Coast off Taranaki and Wellington
  • Scampi off the East Coast of Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty
  • Rough and smooth skates across West Coast North Island
  • Snapper and red gurnard across the West Coast and Top of the South Island
  • Red gurnard off the East Coast of the South Island, Southland, Sub-Antarctic islands and Chatham Islands.

Other stocks where catch limits remain the same:

  • Rig across the West Coast and Top of the South Island, and off the East Coast of the South Island, Southland, Sub-Antarctic islands and Chatham Islands.
  • Attached bladder kelp across the East Coast of the South Island, and around the Chatham Islands.

Deemed values have also been reviewed and adjusted for eight fish stocks. These are the fees commercial fishers pay on catch that is outside of their annual catch entitlement.

“This will ensure there are appropriate incentives in place for commercial fishers to balance catch with their annual catch entitlement,” said Mr Parker.

Public consultation took place between June and July. The changes will come into effect on 1 October 2022.

Further information and background on the decisions is available on Fisheries New Zealand’s website here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/review-of-sustainability-measures-october-2022-round/

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