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Smart Thinking Leads To Bumper Scallop Crop

Prime Minister Jenny Shipley today praised the common sense approach taken to the sustainable management of the scallop resource by the fishing industry, which will result in a bumper harvest this year.

Visiting the Scallop Challenger Enhancement Company in Nelson today, Mrs Shipley said that the scallop harvest and exports had boomed in recent years.

"This bumper season demonstrates the determination and commitment of government and industry to overcome their differences and work together.

"It is a little over a week since the commercial scallop harvest began and it's the best start to the commercial season in five years. The expected harvest of 720 tonnes will be the fourth best in the forty-year history of the fishery.

"This bumper harvest will have a real impact on the lives of people in the Nelson region, providing jobs for between eight and nine hundred people. Export values have increased from about $8 million to an estimated $20 million for the coming year. That is a spectacular achievement .

"The Challenger Scallop Enhancement Company is the result of a cooperative approach between the Government and the industry and represents a whole new approach to fisheries management.

"Part of the Bright Future strategy launched by the Government recently is to provide industry with the freedom to innovate. The success of the Challenger Scallop Enhancement Company is a good example of what can happen when industry is given that freedom.

"Together with Government, the industry has achieved a major turnaround in this fishery, from the closure of the scallop beds in the early 1980s to a harvest that is stable and substantial today. The decision to forgo harvesting some substandard stock last year has contributed to this years bumper crop and is an example of innovative thinking leading to greater returns in the long term.

"The result is a healthy, sustainable scallop harvest and a fisheries management system that can have a tremendous impact throughout New Zealand and the world," the Prime Minister said.

ENDS

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