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Changes to fishing catch limits

21 September
Changes to fishing catch limits announced

Ministry of Fisheries Chief Executive Wayne McNee has today announced changes to fishing catch limits in a range of fishstocks managed under the Quota Management System. These changes stem from sustainability decisions made by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

“The Minister carefully considered the best scientific and management information available as well as submissions from customary, recreational and commercial fishers, environmental groups and the public before making these decisions,” said Mr McNee.

“Good fisheries management requires an ongoing process of review and adjustment using the best scientific research and information we have,” he said.

Catch limits move up and down to take into account changes in the abundance of a fishstock and ensure fishing is kept to sustainable levels.

A range of fisheries were reviewed and some have had adjustments made:

• Stargazer (monkfish) on the South Island’s west coast (STA7) has had a commercial catch increase of 72 tonnes from 1,000 to 1,072 tonnes.
• Rubyfish around the Chatham Islands (RBY4) has had a commercial catch increase of 13 tonnes, from 6 to 19 tonnes.
• Black Cardinalfish off the North Island’s east and south coast (CDL2) has had a commercial catch reduction of 660 tonnes from 1,780 to 1,120 tonnes as the second stage of a three-year phased reduction in catches.
• Trevally stocks on the North Island’s east coast (TRE1 and TRE2) were reviewed but the Minister decided not to change catch limits.
• Hapuku/bass on the South Island’s east coast (HPB3) was reviewed but the Minister decided not to change catch limits.

There will also be an in-season increase to the catch limit for the Coromandel scallop fishery from 48 tonnes to 154 tonnes. As a result, commercial catch limits will increase from 22 to 100 tonnes, allocations for the recreational and Maori customary non-commercial sectors will increase from 7.5 tonnes to 10 tonnes each, and the allowance for other sources of fishing-related mortality from 11 to 34 tonnes. Recreational fishing daily bag limits and size limits will not change. The commercial catch limit and allowances will revert to 48 tonnes at the end of the fishing year.

In addition, the deemed values – penalties for fishing above Total Allowable Catch limits - for several species have been adjusted to ensure appropriate financial incentives are in place so commercial catch limits are not breached.

The Minister has not yet made a decision on proposed changes to catch allowances for kahawai fisheries.

These changes take effect on 1 October 2010. Further information will be made available on the Ministry of Fisheries website, www.fish.govt.nz


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