Fisheries New Zealand has started consultation on proposed changes to catch limits and other management settings for the new fishing year beginning 1 October 2018.
Twice yearly, Fisheries New Zealand reviews the catch limits and management controls to ensure they are best ensuring the sustainable use of our fisheries resources.
All too often recreational fishers have been penalized with lower catch limits and increased fish sizes while commercial fishers get off the hook with increased catch limits and fish sizes lower than recreational.
With the high levels of corruption and mismanagement in the former MPI Fisheries one must remember that while we have managed to get those ultimately responsible moved on the scientists are still there.
Given the numbers of low stock levels on many inshore fisheries there are many areas where catch limits must be lowered.
Director of fisheries management, Stuart Anderson, says Fisheries New Zealand invests more than $20 million in fisheries science every year to ensure it knows what is happening with our fish stocks.
"If the scientific information suggests more fish can be harvested sustainably, then we increase the catch limits. Conversely, if there are sustainability issues identified, we reduce catch limits," says Mr Anderson.
"This year they are reviewing 32 stocks, compared to 18 stocks in 2017. Of the 32 stocks reviewed, increases to catch limits are proposed for 11 stocks, and decreases are proposed for 11 stocks. For the remaining stocks, changes are proposed to the deemed values paid by commercial fishers.
"More stocks are being reviewed in 2018 because the best available information, such as stock assessments and research survey results, suggested that changes could be made to address potential sustainability concerns or utilization opportunities.
"Stocks being reviewed this year include a number of fish stocks that are culturally important to tangata whenua (such as longfin and shortfin eels), as well as some shared fish stocks that are important to a number of sectors (such as tarakihi, flatfish, pāua, and red gurnard).
"We encourage people to put in a submission via our website if they have an interest in any of the fisheries being reviewed.
"Combined with scientific information, feedback from the public will enable Fisheries New Zealand to provide the Minister of Fisheries with advice to assist him to make final decisions on what changes, if any, should be made."
Rec fishers are advised to put in a submission if fish stocks in or near where you fish are depleted.
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