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Industry Responds to Govt Fishing Strategy

24 August 2005

Seafood Industry Responds to Government's Launch of

Strategy for Managing the Environmental Effects of Fishing

"Ensuring a high industry involvement will be key to a successful development and ongoing implementation of any environmental management framework," New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Chief Executive Owen Symmans said in response to the launch of the Government's Strategy for Managing the Environmental Effects of Fishing. "We support a risk-based approach and believe that industry-initiated fisheries plans will be required for what will have to be an industry-led implementation. We are concerned that the Minister of Fisheries has stated that the process will occur primarily through the development of fisheries plans led by the Ministry of Fisheries. The process must be Industry led to succeed."

The Seafood Industry has implemented many successful measures to ensure sustainable, environmentally conscious management of our fisheries will continue, said Mr Symmans.

"There will always be a need to continue to develop agreed fisheries plans covering all aspects of fishing activity. As part of this objective we support a pragmatic approach to environmental performance management."

At the FAO-sponsored Reykjavik Conference on Responsible Fisheries in the Marine Ecosystem in September 2001, two key issues were identified: over-fishing driven by overcapacity, and the need for incentives for rationalization to be provided under 'rights-based' fishing. New Zealand's Quota Management System (QMS) means that we have addressed the overfishing/overcapacity problems that other countries identify as the main risk to aquatic ecosystems, said Mr Symmans. We are in the fortunate position of needing only to make improvements to an already-sound system, rather than facing fundamental changes that will be necessary in other jurisdictions, he said.

"Any opportunities to build on our successes are welcomed. Our world-leading fisheries management system, the QMS, is an excellent starting point for developing a structured approach to environmental management."

ENDS

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