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Fisheries Act improved through new law

Fisheries Act improved through new law

Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope has welcomed the passing of Fisheries Amendment Bill No.3 today, which further strengthens the management of New Zealand's fisheries resources.

Mr Benson-Pope says the Bill, which passed with 71 votes in favour, contains a number of provisions that improve the 1996 Fisheries Act so that it can better achieve its purpose, which is to provide for the utilisation of fisheries resources while ensuring sustainability.

"New Zealand's quota management system (QMS) is acknowledged as world leading," he said. "This legislation is about providing leadership and improving the way fisheries resources will be managed in the future."

The improvements include: Providing more direction as to when the QMS will be used to manage fisheries Improving the way quota is allocated when a species is brought into the QMS Revising the current regime for authorising access to commercial fisheries and removing the permit moratorium that is unnecessarily impeding use of fisheries resources Extending coverage of the QMS to provide for improved management of highly migratory species beyond New Zealand fisheries waters Enabling the introduction into the QMS of green-lipped mussels in area 9 on 01 October 2004

"These improvements have not come without considerable embarassment to the National Party," said Mr Benson-Pope. "The destructive behaviour of David Carter, who chaired the Select Committee, and National's fisheries spokesman Phil Heatly, has not gone unnoticed amongst the fishing community."

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