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Industry Supports NZ/Australia Fisheries Talks

17th August 2004

Fishing Industry Supports NZ/Australia Fisheries Talks

"New Zealand and Australia share a common interest in making sure the fisheries resources in the high seas around our countries are managed as sustainably as each country's domestic fisheries are", says New Zealand Seafood Industry Council (SeaFIC) CEO Owen Symmans.

Mr Symmans made these comments in relation to the Minister of Fisheries' announcement that New Zealand and Australian fisheries officials are meeting this week.

"The New Zealand fishing industry fully supports efforts to improve fisheries governance between our two countries and other fishing nations that have an interest in the fisheries resources of our region," he says.

"High seas fisheries for migratory tunas and for deep water species are an important contributor to the New Zealand fishing industry and the New Zealand economy. A growing number of New Zealand vessels regularly fish outside the New Zealand economic zone", he said. "New Zealand high seas fishing vessels have to meet strict operating and reporting requirements set by the New Zealand Government. Much the same applies for Australian fishers. But fishing vessels from other countries do not always have to meet the same standards"

Mr Symmans hopes the talks this week will progress development of a regional management framework for deep seas fisheries in the Southern and South Pacific Oceans.

"A regional arrangement to ensure that fishing is environmentally sustainable is a far better option than locking productive fisheries resources away in a fishing moratorium or in no-take reserves, which some environmentalists are advocating", said Mr Symmans.

ENDS

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