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NZ Southern Bluefin Tuna fishery to close

NZ Southern Bluefin Tuna fishery to close on Monday 12 July

The Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) will close the Southern Bluefin Tuna fishery at 11.59pm (23:59) on Monday, 12 July 2004, until the end of the fishing year on 30 September 2004, because it expects the catch limit will be filled around that date.

New Zealand's quota of Southern Bluefin Tuna is 420 greenweight tonnes for the current fishing year. This is set under a regulation giving effect to New Zealand's agreement under the Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna.

The Southern Bluefin Tuna fishery in New Zealand is based on a seasonal migration of this tuna species through our waters. This season, the fishery had a later start than normal, and catch rates have been adversely affected by inclement weather.

Senior Fisheries Management Advisor Arthur Hore said MFish had been monitoring the catch of Southern Bluefin Tuna since the season began. The catch limit is fished competitively, and MFish's task is to use trends in reported catch and predicted trends to establish when the catch limit is likely to be reached. The fishing industry helps MFish by providing weekly and daily landing reports, information and advice about the season's progress.

Based on current catch levels and the experience of past seasons, it is projected that the catch limit will be filled by Monday. This is the last fishing year the Southern Bluefin Tuna fishery will be managed under a competitive catch limit, as the species will be managed under the Quota Management System from 1 October 2004.

ENDS

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