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Rock Lobster Fishery Decisions Welcomed

Rock Lobster Industry Council Media Release
24 March 2006

Rock Lobster Fishery Decisions Welcomed

The decisions on Total Allowable Catches for rock lobster fisheries in Otago (CRA 7) and Southland (CRA 8) have been welcomed by the lobster industry. The decisions announced by Minister of Fisheries Jim Anderton take effect in April and provide an additional 26 tonnes of commercial catch to the Otago lobster industry and 150 tonnes to Southland.

Daryl Sykes, the Executive Officer for the NZ Rock Lobster Industry Council, today highlighted several key aspects of the Ministers decision, noting the economic benefits to both regions, the endorsement of a cooperative stakeholder recommendation by the Minister, and the re-confirmation of a sophisticated and highly technical management procedure that guided that recommendation.

“There is much that is positive about this decision”, said Sykes, “the opportunity to increase catches demonstrates a fisheries management regime that is operating well and meeting management objectives. The stock assessment expertise that has developed the management procedure that supports this increase is world class, and in some respects is forging new ground for other fisheries. The new Minister has shown that he is supportive of good science and good process, and the Otago and Southland rock lobster industries are rewarded for their patience and perseverance. This is a great result all around.”

Malcolm Lawson, Chief Executive Officer of the CRA8 Management Committee Inc. and liaison officer for the Otago Rock Lobster industry said today that …

“the mood is buoyant right now. Local fishermen have endured the pain brought about by quota cuts in the past, undoubtedly these were needed to rebuild the fishery to where it is now, and as a consequence they get to enjoy the gains. This is a classic example of how a quota system works; the effort made to conserve and enhance stock abundance is again rewarded.”

The increase in the Otago lobster fishery will generate around $700,000 in additional revenue to the local industry and have positive spin-offs for support services in the region. The increase means that Southland will now produce 27% of the county’s rock lobster exports earning approximately $28M in export receipts for the nation and will bring millions into the Southland business community on an annual basis.

“I am sure this will be welcomed, particularly at this time when most economic indicators are in decline. Further, it provides a higher degree of economic certainty for fishing based businesses and will result in more investment in the industry,” Mr. Lawson said.

“The CRA8 Management Committee Inc., in conjunction with Crop & Food Research Institute is currently engaged in a project to improve post–harvest technologies and product quality and we are confident that this will further increase the returns derived from this fishery.”

ENDS

Background information
Stock
Current Catch Limit New Catch Limit

Otago CRA 7
TAC TAC
114.9t 140.2t
TACC TACC
94.9t 120.2t

Southland CRA 8
TAC TAC
690.4t 842.2t
TACC TACC
603.4t 755.2t

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