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Anderton makes two announcements at conference

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

Progressive Leader

24 May 2006 Media Statement

Anderton makes two announcements at the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council conference today

Mr Anderton made two announcements at the Seafood Industry Council conference at Te Papa in Wellington today.

"The first concerned a round of consultation recently over whether to introduce several species into the QMS. Most contentious has been albacore tuna. After listening to all the evidence on this issue I am satisfied that there are no problems about the sustainability or the utilisation of this stock at this time, and therefore it is not appropriate to introduce it into the QMS. However, I believe both albacore and skipjack tuna will, over the long-term, need to be brought into a management framework that recognizes they are migratory fish, potentially vulnerable to over-exploitation," Jim Anderton said.

"I have directed the Ministry to consult with the fishing industry to find a greater level of consensus about the future management and utilisation of both of these species. As such I have decided to revoke the decision in-principle of the previous Minister setting the catch history years from 2000 to 2002.

The second launched a publication called the State of Our Fisheries report (www.fish.govt.nz), which covers New Zealand’s management of fisheries. It covers some recent government initiatives, and gives an overview of New Zealand's management of several important fisheries.

"This annual publication covers some complex issues very simply, and makes them accessible to the majority of New Zealanders. Its common for the public to express concern over whether our natural resources are being looked after and I believe this publication will go a long way to assuring the public about our management of their marine resources," Jim Anderton said.

"The New Zealand fishing industry has success to celebrate, despite a tough time over the last two years. Statistics New Zealand recently released the first in-depth analysis of the contribution our marine economy makes to New Zealand’s GDP. It showed the entire marine economy – fishing and aquaculture, as well as other marine industries, including research, defence and manufacturing, contributed $3.3 billion each year to the country. It provided 21,000 jobs and almost three percent of our GDP.

"It’s fashionable to think that primary industries are declining in importance, but the facts tell a different story. Over the last 15 years our primary industries have increased their productivity at more than double the rate of the rest of the economy. Fisheries and aquaculture grew 54 percent from 1997 and 2002. Seafood exports brought us $1.2 billion in earnings last year.

“You’ve had to deal with the high New Zealand dollar and rising fuel costs. Any business is going to struggle to meet challenges on this scale. We need to work constructively, with partnerships across industry and government to build even more strength in the industry. We need to look for high value niches in the global value chain, invest in science, research and skills to differentiate our products by their innovation and quality and global marketing networks to ensure that we are responsive to the demands of customers.

“Built on the shoulders of those who have gone before, the fishing industry has achieved progress we can be proud of. The management system has been developed by government and industry working together over the past 20 years. It has evolved into one of the best fisheries management systems in the world. Decisions about stock management are based on science. As a result, the sustainability of our fish stocks on the whole has vastly improved.

“We can’t compete by exploiting the resource unsustainably. There will always be competitors who pay lower wages and provide lower protections than we do. We have to compete by producing premium products that are exciting and enticing to global consumers.


ENDS

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