Future of Our Fisheries (FOOF)
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released its Future of Our Fisheries (Te Huapae Mataora Mo Tangaroa) document for public discussion. This document is the output of the MPI operational review which commenced in 2015 but also includes issues that have emerged subsequent to that consultation.
Volume 1 of Future of Our Fisheries contains an overarching vision and strategy for the management of New Zealand fisheries resources. MPI has adopted a vision of “abundant fisheries and healthy aquatic environment that provide for all our people, now and in the future” and has identified the following four objectives to underpin that vision:
- Abundant fisheries in our seas and healthy aquatic system.
- Everyone plays their part in managing New Zealand’s shared aquatic resources.
- Everyone can share fairly in the benefits of our aquatic resources.
- The fisheries management system is widely trusted in New Zealand and internationally.
Three strategic proposals are outlined in the discussion document:
- Maximising Value from our fisheries – options for addressing discarding; encouraging and enabling harvest technologies; options to maximise the value of our shared fisheries; building the market position of NZ seafood and options for developing value from new or undeveloped fisheries.
- Better fisheries Information – Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System (IEMRS); gathering more information to support decision making and value-adding; investing in eco-based management and the use of externally commissioned research.
- Agile and Responsive Decision-Making – looking to shift decisions to a level of accountability that reflects risk, supporting independent advice through a National Fisheries Advisory Council and developing a more flexible decision-making framework.
In a media release accompanying the consultation, Minister Guy stated that “Our fisheries management system has been recognised as one of the world’s best. However, we need to keep looking at ways to improve the system, especially as the Quota Management System (QMS) is now 30 years old and the Fisheries Act 20 years old.”
While true that the QMS has served us well, it’s unclear from the documentation provided by MPI that what’s proposed could be described as improvements to the system. The Future of our Fisheries tackles some long-standing issues in fisheries management which is welcomed by Fisheries Inshore. However, the consultation papers are devoid of the detail and analysis required to advance what could be some very significant changes.
It is unwise to tinker with a world-leading fisheries management system without careful, detailed and robust analysis and conversation with all concerned.
More work is required before the proposals released by MPI are sufficient to enable an informed discussion with the commercial, recreational and environmental sectors, and particularly the Crown’s Treaty partners.
FINZ looks forward to working with MPI to refine and develop the proposals.
Public consultation meetings, hui and workshops on the proposals will be held in November and December 2016 at:
Submission close on Friday 23 December 2016 click here for more information.