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New species for fisheries Quota Management System

New species into the fisheries Quota Management System

Ten more commercially caught fish species are in the Quota Management System for the first time from today, beginning a major expansion of the system. “Since the introduction of the QMS for commercial fishing in 1986, New Zealand has been regarded as a world leader in effective and sustainable fisheries management,” Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson said today. “The full introduction of the 1996 Fisheries Act on October 1 last year has provided the legal and logistical ability to significantly expand the QMS.”

Over the next three years the Ministry of Fisheries will be working towards the introduction of about 40 more species that will benefit from the better management framework provided by the QMS. The final number to be introduced will be determined after further analysis and consultation with stakeholders.

The species introduced today are paddle crab, butterfish, blue mackerel, queen scallops, cockles (Snake Bank, in Whangarei Harbour), anchovy, pilchard, garfish, sprats and kina (South Island and Chatham Islands).

There are now 54 fish or shellfish species under the QMS, including most major commercially valuable species. For each fish stock a total allowable catch is set on the basis of scientific assessment that will maintain it at or move it towards a size that can produce the maximum sustainable yield.

The QMS allocates each commercial fisher a share of the total allowable commercial catch, which becomes an asset the fisher can fish or trade. Allowances for recreational and customary Maori catch are made before the total allowable commercial catch is set. Species outside the QMS are managed under a permit system that confers no tradable rights.

Introducing more species to the QMS also enables the Crown to meet its obligations to Maori under the Deed of Settlement signed in 1992, which provides that when a new species is introduced 20% of the quota will be allocated to Maori.

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