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$5m Boost To Fisheries Research

MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE USE
11 JUNE 1999

$5M BOOST TO FISHERIES RESEACH

Nature and extent of fisheries services for 1999/2000

Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton today announced that an additional $5 million will be spent on fisheries research in the upcoming financial year. The increase was signalled when the Minister announced the Nature and Extent of Fisheries Services for 1999/2000.

Decisions on nature and extent are part of the annual planning round that reviews fishery services and associated expenditure. Services include the management of fisheries under the Fisheries Act 1996, enforcement provisions and research.

"These services will cost $66.8 million during the 1999/2000 year. Of this $20.4 million will be spent on fisheries research, $5 million more than last year. This is in line with the Government's commitment to providing for the sustainable use of fisheries resources."

Research spending for the forthcoming fishing year has trebled for socio-economic and stock assessment, up from $151,640 to $558,389 (GST inclusive). Expenditure for shellfish research is also up by more than $1 million.

"The increase allows the Ministry to look at ways to improve fish stock assessments and deal with environmental impacts in fisheries. The extra money will also help identify obligations to future generations and develop performance indicators for commercial fisheries policy."

"The sustainable management of New Zealand's fisheries resources under the Quota Management System has resulted in healthy fishstocks enabling the commercial sector to take advantage of increased export opportunities and market prices. This comes at a time when poor management by other fishing nations has led to fisheries depletion in key international stocks."

Today's announcement follows input from the Ministry and other stakeholders. The Ministry is continuing to work towards providing a healthy aquatic eco-system in which fishing contributes to the social, economic and cultural well-being of New Zealanders, without limiting options for future generations".

The nature and extent of services is underpinned by the Government's legislative and structural reform agenda and the critical issues it addresses.

"Later this year, we will see the enactment of the Fisheries Amendment Bill, which was developed to improve the implementation and management of the Fisheries Act 1996. There will also be further reforms in the areas of aquaculture, recreational fishing and co-management, a new arrangement for the management of the Ministry's existing registry services and a new cost recovery framework."

"Given the diversity of change underway, it is critical we have stakeholder support for the Ministry's overall strategies and processes. I am confident we are on the right track," said Mr Luxton.

ENDS

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