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Reduction In Fishing For Stewart Island Paua

Fisheries Minister, Hon John Luxton and commercial fishers have taken action to reduce the commercial catch for paua around Stewart Island (PAU5B) by 30 tonnes as from 1 October 1999.

This reduction is part of a joint management response to halt the decline in the Stewart Island paua stock.

"I have reduced the commercial take for PAU5B to address the immediate sustainability concerns in the fishery. My objective is to reduce commercial removals from the fishery over a two-year time frame. This will prevent any further decline in stock levels. Work is also underway to develop a strategy to rebuild the stock."

The Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) has been reduced by 5 tonnes and commercial fishers will shelve a further 25 tonnes for the 1999-2000 fishing year. Further management decisions have been signalled for the 2000/2001 fishing year.

A phased reduction will give fishers a chance to adjust their business activities.

The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of 155.983 tonnes is broken down into the following amounts:

Recreational 6 tonnes
Customary Maori 6 tonnes
Commercial 143.983 tonnes

"Commercial fishers have demonstrated their commitment to managing this fishery. It is an excellent opportunity for them to work closely with the Ministry of Fisheries to ensure the long term future of the Stewart Island paua fishery," Mr Luxton concluded.

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