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Southland kina industry receives massive boost

22 September, 2004

Southland kina industry receives massive boost

The Southland kina industry has received a massive boost with the Government re-opening the Fiordland commercial kina fishery and increasing the allowable catch.

Part of the Southland kina fishery, from Puysegur Point northwards to Breaksea Sound in Fiordland, was closed by regulation to normal commercial kina fishing in 1993, to support an experimental kina development programme that operated within this area.

That programme has since been disestablished, so Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope has moved to re-open the fishery after securing an agreement from industry body, the SUR 5 Quota-Owners Association, to implement a voluntary closure of the inner fiords to ensure there will be no impacts on sensitive areas of Fiordland.

"It was apparent that the closure of the kina fishery had become redundant," said Mr Benson-Pope. "The continued closure of this area to commercial kina fishing would have also been unfair as commercial fishing for other species such as rock lobster, sea cucumber and blue cod is allowed in the area."

The SUR 5 Quota-Owners Association is trying to establish an export market in Asia for kina roe, so the opening of Fiordland could see it become a significant export earner for New Zealand.

In tandem with the reopening of the fishery, Mr Benson-Pope has increased the total allowable catch (TAC) of kina for the SUR 5 Quota Management Area. The TAC has been increased from the existing 268 tonnes to 480 tonnes – based on the size of the kina fishery previously closed to commercial fishing.

The decision to re-open the fishery has received the backing of the Guardians of Fiordland Group. Spokesman John Steffans says they have been involved in the consultation process and believe undertakings from the industry should ensure impacts are minimal.

The decisions to re-open the fishery and increase the TAC will be gazetted this week and will take effect from 1 November.

ENDS

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