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Talks to commence on shared fisheries

16 January 2006

Talks to commence on allocation in shared fisheries

The Fisheries Ministry is to begin talks in February with key recreational, customary and commercial groups about allocation of shared fisheries, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said today.

This continues the work the Ministry is currently doing to improve New Zealand's management of shared fisheries, and it is hoped this will help reduce conflict between the non-commercial and commercial sectors.

"The government wants to get better value from our shared fisheries. To manage fisheries for greater benefit, we need people working together, rather than against each other," Mr Anderton said.

"One of our biggest problems in shared fisheries is the allocation between the sector groups ? i.e. how much of the catch each sector can take.

"Unfortunately, current fisheries legislation does not give us a robust framework for resolution of allocation issues in shared fisheries. This had led to a lot of uncertainty, which in turn can lead to conflict and tension between the sectors. Uncertainty produces a bad investment environment for industry.

"As a first step in the process of developing a new framework for managing shared fisheries, I have asked the Fisheries Ministry to begin talking with key recreational, customary and commercial sector groups in February.

"The Ministry will discuss with these groups the allocation issues they think need addressing, and ask for suggestions on how to resolve these issues.

"These ideas will be used to develop a document for public discussion, which will contain practical options to address the issues of concern in shared fisheries. I hope to release this in mid June.

"Success in this current process will require goodwill and commitment to positive outcomes from all parties," Mr Anderton said.

Important shared fisheries include snapper, rock lobster, paua, blue cod, kingfish and kahawai.

ENDS


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