New Zealand companies call for reduction in hoki quota Published: 05 July, 2007
SEALORD, Aotearoa Fisheries and Sanford have today called for a reduction in the hoki Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC), for the long term good of the fishery.
Sealord and Aotearoa Fisheries Chair Robin Hapi and Sanford Managing Director Eric Barratt called on the rest of the New Zealand deepwater fishing industry to support a reduction in the hoki TACC, which is one of the options the Ministry of Fisheries has put forward for the 2007-08 fishing season.
Mr Hapi and Mr Barratt said the Ministry had put forward three options for industry consideration. Two options keep the hoki TACC at 100,000 tonnes. One is the status quo, a hoki TACC of 100,000 tonnes with the industry catching 60% from the eastern stock and 40% from the western; the other suggests changing the split so more catch is taken from the eastern stock.
However the three organisations are throwing their weight behind the third and most conservative option which is a reduction in the hoki TACC to 80,000 tonnes with 75% of the catch from the eastern stock and 25% from the western.
Mr Hapi said Sealord is New Zealands largest hoki quota holder. In Sealords view its a question of short-term pain for long-term gain. Recruitment of young fish has been poor, particularly to the western stock, and there is a strong scientific view that this is related to environmental factors.
Since environmental factors are driving poor recruitment in the west, the best course of action is to reduce catches and give the stock an opportunity to rebuild.
Mr Hapi and Mr Barratt said a delay in reducing the hoki TACC would delay a rebuild of the western stock. The 2007 stock assessment predicts that western stock will only rebuild if catches are reduced, Mr Barratt said.
Both said taking the hard decision, to cut the TACC, was important not only to the long-term health of the hoki fishery but also to New Zealands reputation for sustainable fisheries management. The key to a sustainable future in economic, environmental and social terms is to ensure catch rates are high enough to support higher fuel prices and exchange rates.
We have the tools to manage stocks sustainably, through the quota management system (QMS), and thats one of the key reasons we received Marine Stewardship Council accreditation for the hoki fishery. A reduction in the hoki TACC will ensure there are fish for the future and reassure customers who, like us, are concerned about sustainability of fish stocks.
Hoki is New Zealand’s biggest commercial fish species and in 2006 was one of New Zealand’s top export fish species, worth $156million to the economy.
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