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Orange Roughy Conservation And Management Regime

Media Statement
Hon Phil Goff

4 February 2000


Australian and New Zealand officials have met over the last two days to finalise a new and more durable Arrangement which puts in place a conservation and management regime for fishing for orange roughy on the South Tasman Rise, Foreign Minister Phil Goff said today.

"The Arrangement also settles the outstanding issue of redress for past overfishing in this fishery.

"There has been an excellent atmosphere of cooperation and goodwill, and a determination on both sides that these issues need to be resolved. Good progress has been made.

"Both my Government and the Australian Government recognise the importance of managing this fishery responsibly and sustainably. I am therefore very pleased that a long-lasting Arrangement has been agreed for the longer term.

"This Arrangement, which has been under development for the past year, will come into effect on 1 March 2000, when the temporary ban which is now in effect expires.

"The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) will be 2400 tonnes with a 75/25 split in quota between Australia and New Zealand. The New Zealand industry will therefore have a quota of 600 tonnes, and will be better off under this new Arrangement than they were under the 1998 Arrangement where their quota was 431 tonnes - 20% of the 2100 TAC.

"The two Governments have also agreed that redress of 640 tonnes be paid back to the fishery by New Zealand for past overfishing. This redress will be made over the next seven years.

"The Government is determined that this fishery should be properly managed in line with Australia and New Zealand's conservation objectives. I am confident that as a result of having finalised a new Arrangement and of having settled outstanding differences between us, we will now be able to move forward and begin constructive and cooperative discussions on a wider regional fisheries agreement," Mr Goff concluded.


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