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We supplied each party with our 5 Tip the Scales principles back in June and told them we would be scoring them out of 20 for each principle based on the policy recommendations we made.


We also offered a bonus 20 points for creative and beneficial fisheries management policies.

It is important to know that the analysis is based on  how each parties policy and correspondence relates to our 5 Tip the Scales principles and specific policy recommendations. 

General Info & Disclaimer

LegaSea remains apolitical and completely unbiased in this analysis. We do not support any particular party over another.

We have taken the view that all parties have had an equal opportunity to develop fisheries policy and that what they have delivered is their best foot forward and their full and complete policy on fisheries.

LegaSea has published this analysis  for the purpose of providing information to the public in a clear and concise manner.

We have strived to be consistent and welcome your constructive comments and feedback.

United
Future

United Future supplied a full policy document and several direct responses to our 5 principles.

They have regularly sought to elevate fisheries as political topics through press and in public debate. Early in the process, United Future submitted policy and asked for our feedback.

Read United Futures fishers policy and support documents here

Total score: 117/120

Summary of United Future’s policy in relation to each principle


rebuild2

Principle 1 – Let’s Rebuild the Fishery

1. Adopt the default target of 40% or better of the unfished biomass and set Total Allowable Catches (TACs) accordingly. (10/10)

Their response: Agree to a minimum target of B40, with B50 for recreational only species – snapper, kahawai, kingfish, and blue cod.

Our summary: Excellent target setting strategies

 2. When the target biomass is reached allocation decisions can be made after fully considering the obligations to future generations, and after the full intentions of Part 3 of the Fisheries Act are adopted. (5/5)

Their response: Agree that on reaching the target recreational fishing would take priority and commercial would be allocated any surplus.

Our summary:United Future demonstrate an understanding of the need to first secure the health of the resource before allowing for use.

3. Adopt an ecosystem approach to stock management which better accounts for interdependent and associated species. (3/3)

Their response: Not expressly addressed, but covered with different phrasing

Our summary: An ecosystem approach can be implied from a stated desire to adopt a ‘holistic management where every species is managed in relation to it’s environment and on it’s dependence on other species’. The only missing word is ecosystem.

4. Adopt a cautious approach to management when stock assessments do not match up with the reality of what is actually happening in the water (2/2)

Their response: UF totally agrees. Science is often lagging behind reality and UF as part of its recreational species policy will only allow commercial fishing when sustainability is assured

Our summary: Perhaps it isn’t explicit enough that this recommendation is about the precautionary principle.

Score for principle:    20 /20

LegaSea summary: A very good commitment to rebuilding abundance and ensuring ecosystem health.

waste

Principle 2 – Stop Senseless Waste

1. Information. All fisheries information is in the public interest, and all records that identify catch mix, species, methods, and areas of commercial catch needs to be immediately released into the public domain. In particular all data that has been collected on catch composition of inshore trawlers that has been gathered since 1990 must be immediately available for public scrutiny. (3/3)

Their response: We totally agree and would seek as part of our radical overhaul of the fisheries.

Our summary: United Future agree with this recommendation

2. Remove trawling that cannot demonstrate compliance with reasonable selectivity standards and minimised benthic contact from within the 100m contour.  (14/14)

Notes: The recent Snapper1 Commercial agreement sets a selectivity standard of juvenile catch at 15% of the total snapper catch by weight, which will typically run to 30% by number of total fish  killed. Clearly, this is a standard that accepts poor selectivity and is not reasonable.

Their response: Again we agree. And as above  would seek to make it a part of a review New fishing methods and better management of areas allowed to be netted could increase the survivability of fish considerably.

Our summary: Agree with the recommendation

3. Resource the public conversation designed to develop ways to reduce waste in the recreational sector. Invest in education to provide the public with the tools and understanding required to better conserve fish. (1/3)

Notes – The public are more than ready to further conserve precious resources, but only in the context of rebuilding abundance, not to subsidise export driven commercial fishing.

Their response: Work with the recreational fishing sector to establish a public consultation process regarding the future of inshore fisheries management. This would be resourced from consenting commercial fishing of the public resource.

Our summary: Unclear about whether they understand the question. Shows some intention to have this conversation.

Score for principle:   18 /20

LegaSea Summary: United Future have are committed to reducing the level of waste that is occurring in our fisheries.

ownership

Principle 3 – Fisheries are Publicly Owned

1. Recognise fish stocks as public resources and consider applying a Resource Rental regime   to captures the extra competitive profit that arise from commercial fishing in the EEZ. (5/5)

Their response: “Fish belong to the people of New Zealand”. “We believe that a resource rental should apply so that the benefits of fishing the publics resource are returned to the people of NZ.”

Our summary: Clear and unequivocal. Supported by their campaign documents.

2. That your party unequivocally states the intention to keep managing recreational fishing outside the Quota Management System (QMS). (10/10)

Their response: We believe there is no place for the word ‘quota’ when managing recreational fishing.

Our summary: A clear statement that quota has no part in managing recreational fisheries

3. Encourage the public to conserve fish by resourcing public led research and consultation aimed at developing a raft of measures to accelerate rebuilds without fear of those fish being later allocated to export driven commercial fishing. (4/5)

Notes: Government needs certainty and safety when regulating public fishing interests. Both Government and the public are tired of being ‘gamed’ by Ministry led regulatory measures designed to increase commercial access at the expense of public utility and wellbeing.

Their response: The cost of resourcing this must be met by levying the commercial fishing industry. It is very wrong that voluntary recreational organizations have to front the costs of consultation and that research is often carried out in the interest of the commercial sector.

Our summary: Recognise that resources are required to enable public fishers to develop effective conservation practices..

Score for principle:    19 /20

LegaSea summary: United Future acknowledge that the public are owners of the fishery and that a resource rental should be payable. They intent to keep managing recreational fishing outside of the QMS.

size

Principle 4 – Equal Size Limits for All

1. Standardise, across all sectors, the MLS for all fish stocks and set them for biological and stock management outcomes rather than using it as an allocation tool. The default policy is to increase MLS to the highest current size. (20/20)

Their response: ‘we will seek to have all fish sizes standardized’ UF believe that differing size limits are ridiculous and allow the commercial sector to over fish the publicly owned fish. It is totally wrong that an angler has to let a fish go for the health of the fishery because it is under size and a trawler can then swoop that same fish up legally.  there has to be a better way to manage commercially fished species and MLS is only part of the mix.

Score for principle:      20/20

Public summary: United Future show a clear recognition of the need to implement standardised minimum legal sizes.

val

Principle 5 – Value Recreational Fishing

1. Commit to resourcing full and proper research in order to establish an economic value of recreational fishing. (20/20)

Note: This is work that needs to be undertaken independent of MPI. The NZSFC and Marine Research Foundation stand by to coordinate and supervise this work and deliver both outstanding value and definitive results.

Their response: We believe that any economic evaluation would overwhelmingly show that recreational fishing generates far more economic benefits and many of the fish caught are also returned for others to catch increasing the economic returns immensely. Ie a kingfish caught off White Island by a charter boat often is caught several times costing  several hundred dollars per fish each time. Without factoring in the social and health benefits.

UF believe that while an economic evaluation would be useful our belief is that the fish already belong to the people of NZ and there should be no need for the NZ public to justify its right to fish, Hence our recreational only species in our policy.

We would certainly support an economic evaluation.

Score for principle:     20/20

LegaSea summary: United Future understands the importance of understanding the economic consequences of allocating fish to different users is fundamental to good resource management.

bonus

Bonus Points for other ways to rebuild fisheries and protect public access to them

Their response: from their public policy paper

  • Establish a ‘recreational only species’ in the Fisheries Act
  • Establish ‘recreational reserves’
  • Increase funding for marine research
  • Review management of Inshore fisheries with public consultation

LegaSea summary: Recreational only species and recreational reserves are solid policy platforms when coupled directly to ensuring abundance above minimum levels. There must first be fish in the water. The promise of increased funding for marine science is welcomed.

Bonus : 20/20

 

Grand Total:  117 /120

Overall summary: United Fisheries Policy is completely preoccupied with advancing the well being of recreational fishers. While achieving an almost perfect score they have also included additional solid policy proposals.

New Zealand
First


NZ First has provided policy and have directly responded to the 5 Tip the Scales principles.

Read the NZ First policy and supporting documents here

Total score: 94/120

Summary of New Zealand First’s policy in relation to each principle


rebuild2

Principle 1 – Let’s Rebuild the Fishery

1. Adopt the default target of 40% or better of the unfished biomass and set Total Allowable Catches (TACs) accordingly. (10/10)

Their response: “Sustainable management of our precious marine resources is essential. Our prime inshore stocks have been under pressure for a long time. New Zealand First will ensure modern stock targets are set to restore stocks were necessary. Best practice science and stock monitoring needs to be supported by adequate resources and clear government standards.” New Zealand First agrees with the arguments in favour of BM40 and we undertake to set this figure as the default target for stock biomass.

Our summary: Agrees with the recommendation and states that they will set this as the default stock biomass.

2. When the target biomass is reached allocation decisions can be made after fully considering the obligations to future generations, and after the full intentions of Part 3 of the Fisheries Act are adopted. (5/5)

Their response: One of the most important and fundamental foundations of our society is the right of people to catch food from the wild. The People of New Zealand and the needs of future generations will come first when setting allowances based on reliable surveys. No-one wants to deny the commercial fishing industry the right to earn an honest living, but the fishery belongs to the nation as a whole, and the needs of ordinary people must come first

Our summary:Agrees with Fisheries Act

3. Adopt an ecosystem approach to stock management which better accounts for interdependent and associated species. (0/3)

Their response: No mention

Our summary: No mention

4. Adopt a cautious approach to management when stock assessments do not match up with the reality of what is actually happening in the water (0/2)

Their response: No mention

Our summary: No mention

Score for principle:      15/20

LegaSea summary: A solid commitment to rebuilding fish stocks and protecting public access to them. A policy on ecosystem wide fisheries management and taking a cautious approach to stock assessments was omitted from this strong policy.

waste

Principle 2 – Stop Senseless Waste

1. Information. All fisheries information is in the public interest, and all records that identify catch mix, species, methods, and areas of commercial catch needs to be immediately released into the public domain. In particular all data that has been collected on catch composition of inshore trawlers that has been gathered since 1990 must be immediately available for public scrutiny. (0/3)

Their response: Silent on information availability. Notes that observers on large vessels will be augmented with video surveillance and GPS monitoring.

Our summary: No mention of information, or how it will be used.

2. Remove trawling that cannot demonstrate compliance with reasonable selectivity standards and minimised benthic contact from within the 100m contour.  (14/14)

Notes: The recent Snapper1 Commercial agreement sets a selectivity standard of juvenile catch at 15% of the total snapper catch by weight, which will typically run to 30% by number of total fish  killed. Clearly, this is a standard that accepts poor selectivity and is not reasonable.

Their response: Modern methods and technologies such as those required by the European Union, including smart nets which allow small fish to escape, and restrictions on certain types of nets and certain types of trawling, will be phased in to minimise the number of under-and-over-sized fish being caught.

In most regions the inshore fishery will typically be to the 12-mile territorial limit. In some regions a depth limit such as the 100m line may be more appropriate than a distance limit. The inshore fishery must be the primary preserve of recreational fishers. Commercial fishers will be compensated for the loss of access to bulk harvesting methods in the inshore fishery.

The exclusion of trawling from the inshore fishery will help to ensure that a much greater proportion of fish available to commercial fishers beyond the 12-mile line are above minimum legal size, assisting with selectivity.

No trawling will be permitted in the inshore fishery, and no commercial catch from the inshore fishery will be allowed to be exported.

Where commercial fishing in the inshore is required in order to supply local trade (for example coastal set netting for flat fish), this must be only in designated areas, and only by approved methods.

NZ First recognise the need to exclude bulk commercial fishing methods from areas of high juvenile abundance. NZ First also commit to the reliable and accurate monitoring of commercial boat operations and locations, and the prohibition of dumping.

Our summary: NZ First has a comprehensive policy to address waste and protect juvenile fish by moving trawling past the 12-mile limit, or 100m depth contour line. Very positive indications that waste is being taken seriously by NZ First.

3. Resource the public conversation designed to develop ways to reduce waste in the recreational sector. Invest in education to provide the public with the tools and understanding required to better conserve fish. (0/3)

Notes – The public are more than ready to further conserve precious resources, but only in the context of rebuilding abundance, not to subsidise export driven commercial fishing.

Their response: No comment.

Our summary: NZ First mentions best practice science and stock monitoring in support of sustainable harvest, but fails to mention any reference to public conservation of fisheries resources.

Score for principle:  14 /20

LegaSea Summary: NZ First has recognised the damage caused by deployment of bulk harvesting methods so their attention is focused on reducing waste related to commercial fishing. NZ First has a raft of measures to address waste, to protect juvenile fish, spawning grounds and fish during spawning season and monitoring commercial operations. Overall an encouraging policy to address wastage and improve productivity, particularly in our inshore fisheries. However, the failure to address making information publicly available and investing in public conservation of fisheries resources is a let down.

ownership

Principle 3 – Fisheries are Publicly Owned

1. Recognise fish stocks as public resources and consider applying a Resource Rental regime to captures the extra competitive profit that arise from commercial fishing in the EEZ. (5/5)

Their response: Somewhat incoherent. “We do not support the imposition of resource rentals on the commercial fishing sector.” – but “the fishery belongs to the nation as a whole”. The recommendation was to ‘consider’ resource rentals, so we need to give full marks

Our summary: Support that the fisheries belong to New Zealand as a whole while failing to recognise that commercial exploitation should attract Resource Rentals.

2. That your party unequivocally states the intention to keep managing recreational fishing outside the Quota Management System (QMS). (7/10)

Their response: That there be no licensing system for recreational saltwater fishers, and the status of existing game species is to be preserved.

Our summary: Although not directly addressed in the policy of excluding salt water licensing might be interpreted by some as implying support. We asked for an unequivocal statement. They state that recreational fishing be a priority when allocating catches. This implies that they believe that recreational fishing should remain outside the QMS. Pity they were not more specific for a full 10/10.

3. Encourage the public to conserve fish by resourcing public led research and consultation aimed at developing a raft of measures to accelerate rebuilds without fear of those fish being later allocated to export driven commercial fishing. (0/5)

Notes: Government needs certainty and safety when regulating public fishing interests. Both Government and the public are tired of being ‘gamed’ by Ministry led regulatory measures designed to increase commercial access at the expense of public utility and wellbeing.

Their response: No comment which is such a shame.

Our summary: For many inshore fish stocks catches will need to be reduced. The best people to offer constructive ways to conserve publicly caught fish is the public.

Score for principle:    12 /20

LegaSea summary: NZ First acknowledge that the fishery belongs to the people. They have considered a resource rental but do not agree with imposing one. No direct mention of continuing to manage recreational fishing outside of the QMS (although hints at it) or resourcing a conversation about ways that the public can conserve fish.

size

Principle 4 – Equal Size Limits for All

1. Standardise, across all sectors, the MLS for all fish stocks and set them for biological and stock management outcomes rather than using it as an allocation tool. The default policy is to increase MLS to the highest current size.

Their response: Agree

Score for principle:      20 /20

LegaSea summary: There are several advantages from administering a single minimum legal size and NZ First agrees. More contentious is the notion of ‘slots’. This is where both a minimum and maximum legal size applies. Returning fish outside the slot can lead to increased mortality, and before such a notion could be valid the survivorship of released fish must be well understood. There is a real risk of increasing overall mortality if survivorship isn’t high.

val

Principle 5 – Value Recreational Fishing

1. Commit to resourcing full and proper research in order to establish an economic value of recreational fishing.

Note: This is work that needs to be undertaken independent of MPI. The NZSFC and Marine Research Foundation stand by to coordinate and supervise this work and deliver both outstanding value and definitive results.

Their response: No direct response to this project. Recognises the non commercial industry and advocates for maximising its value

Score for principle:     18 /20

LegaSea summary:

A fair recognition of the economic importance of the recreational industry without offering explicit policy. They haven’t fully committed to full and proper research.

bonus

Bonus Points for other ways to rebuild fisheries and protect public access to them

Their response:

  • * Recreational priority for allocation
  • *Land all catch
  • All catch inside 12m or 100m to be sold on local market
  • Schedule 6 abolished
  • No saltwater license
  • All fish caught in NZ landed in NZ and processed here.
  • Regulate commercial net size and type to ensure compliance with minimum size limits

Our summary:

A wide range of additional measures supported by New Zealand. We don’t agree with land all catch policy as it would not be required under their other measures to remove damaging fishing techniques. It is important that the public consumer is allowed for.

With regards to the suggested controls over what can be exported  – a step too far in our view and not required if waste and rebuilds are addressed.

The LegaSea principles are  not anti commercial fishing.

Bonus : 15/20

 

Grand Total:  94/120

Overall summary: A very solid fisheries policy from NZ First. Shows clear pathways to reduce the impacts of harmful fishing practices and reserve New Zealand fisheries for New Zealanders.

Green
Party

The Green Party supplied a direct response to the 5 LegaSea principles and referenced them back to their oceans policy.

The Green Party have not updated their oceans policy before this election.

Read the Green Party policy and support documents here

Total Score: 93/120

Summary of Green Party’s policy in relation to each principle


rebuild2

Principle 1 – Let’s Rebuild the Fishery

1. Adopt the default target of 40% or better of the unfished biomass and set Total Allowable Catches (TACs) accordingly. (10/10)

Their response:  Agree and will use higher targets where necessary to ensure abundance and diversity

Our summary: Offers full support for the principle of abundance as measured by a target of B40 or higher.

2. When the target biomass is reached allocation decisions can be made after fully considering the obligations to future generations, and after the full intentions of Part 3 of the Fisheries Act are adopted. (3/5)

Their response: Fishing for families before industry, protect customary interests and reasonable public access.

Our summary:When considering use then public fishing is provided for before any other use, effectively giving the public priority.

3. Adopt an ecosystem approach to stock management which better accounts for interdependent and associated species. (3/3)

Their response:  Priority is the Oceans and ecosystem health.

Our summary: Stated intention to adopt ecosystem management that rebuilds the fishery across the dependant and associated species.

4. Adopt a cautious approach to management when stock assessments do not match up with the reality of what is actually happening in the water (2/2)

Their response: No direct comment, although adopting the precautionary principle is part of their Oceans policy.

Our summary: Accept that the precautionary approach encompasses our concerns about low quality stock assessments

Score for principle:     18/20

LegaSea summary: Green Party are clearly interested in advancing fisheries and marine ecosystems.

waste

Principle 2 – Stop Senseless Waste

1. Information. All fisheries information is in the public interest, and all records that identify catch mix, species, methods, and areas of commercial catch needs to be immediately released into the public domain. In particular all data that has been collected on catch composition of inshore trawlers that has been gathered since 1990 must be immediately available for public scrutiny. (0/3)

Their response: No direct comment

Our summary: The underlying reason of the difficulty in accessing fishery data collected by Crown agencies isn’t made clear. Suspicion that the the recommendation may not have been understood.

2. Remove trawling that cannot demonstrate compliance with reasonable selectivity standards and minimised benthic contact from within the 100m contour.  (14/14)

Notes: The recent Snapper1 Commercial agreement sets a selectivity standard of juvenile catch at 15% of the total snapper catch by weight, which will typically run to 30% by number of total fish  killed. Clearly, this is a standard that accepts poor selectivity and is not reasonable.

Their response: No direct reply to the 100m contour proposition and pointed to a policy of removing fishing methods with benthic impacts (trawling and scallop dredge)

Our summary: The Greens have a more developed anti trawl policy than other parties. More importantly perhaps is the recognition that perverse incentives in the QMS are responsible for a lot of the waste.

3. Resource the public conversation designed to develop ways to reduce waste in the recreational sector. Invest in education to provide the public with the tools and understanding required to better conserve fish. (0/3)

Notes – The public are more than ready to further conserve precious resources, but only in the context of rebuilding abundance, not to subsidise export driven commercial fishing.

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:   14 /20

LegaSea Summary: Strong indication that the Green party are serious about eliminating waste.

ownership

Principle 3 – Fisheries are Publicly Owned

1. Recognise fish stocks as public resources and consider applying a Resource Rental regime   to captures the extra competitive profit that arise from commercial fishing in the EEZ. (5/5)

Their response: Will impose Resource Rental to generate a return on exploiting national assets.

Our summary: The only party to acknowledge resource rentals as a pivotal component of any Quota Management System. Suggest that RR paid by Maori are for Maori to manage. This idea has merit and ensures that while Maori acknowledge the communal ownership of fisheries and pay a rental accordingly, Maori will not be financially disadvantaged.

2. That your party unequivocally states the intention to keep managing recreational fishing outside the Quota Management System (QMS). (8/10)

Their response:  The Green Party would not implement and entrench proportional shares in our fisheries

Our summary: The notion of proportional shares is dismissed and the health of the Oceans takes priority over any other use matters.

3. Encourage the public to conserve fish by resourcing public led research and consultation aimed at developing a raft of measures to accelerate rebuilds without fear of those fish being later allocated to export driven commercial fishing. (0/5)

Notes: Government needs certainty and safety when regulating public fishing interests. Both Government and the public are tired of being ‘gamed’ by Ministry led regulatory measures designed to increase commercial access at the expense of public utility and wellbeing.

Their response: No comment.

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:   13/20

LegaSea summary: Explicitly recognises public ownership of fisheries and supportive of imposing a resource rental.

size

Principle 4 – Equal Size Limits for All

1. Standardise, across all sectors, the MLS for all fish stocks and set them for biological and stock management outcomes rather than using it as an allocation tool. The default policy is to increase MLS to the highest current size. (20/20)

Their response: Agree.

Score for principle:     20 /20

LegaSea summary: Supportive of equal size limits across sectors without specifying a size.

val

Principle 5 – Value Recreational Fishing

1. Commit to resourcing full and proper research in order to establish an economic value of recreational fishing. (13/20)

Note: This is work that needs to be undertaken independent of MPI. The NZSFC and Marine Research Foundation stand by to coordinate and supervise this work and deliver both outstanding value and definitive results.

Their response: The Green Party understands the desire for independently sourced information to better establish the enormous value of recreational fishing and supports research to achieve that end, however wishes to note that the principles already outlined should negate the need for the inherent rights of New Zealanders to recreational fishing to be protected by an economic argument. That argument is necessary only in the current political-commercial context. The Green Party has a plan for a cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand.

Score for principle:     13/20

LegaSea summary: The Green Party are supportive of establishing an independent economic value of recreational fishing. They support research to achieve that end, however their core belief is that there shouldn’t be a need for it – this probably means they will not push hard for this research.

bonus

Bonus Points for other ways to rebuild fisheries and protect public access to them

Their response:

Review of the Quota Management System to remove the incentives that encourage poor fishing practices and dumping.

Our summary:  Show a depth of understanding of fisheries matters

Bonus : 10/20

 

 

Grand Total:  93 /120

Overall summary: Very well compiled response to our 5 principles. The Green Party demonstrates a deep level of understanding about oceans and fisheries and recognise recreational fishing as being important.

FOCUS
New Zealand

FOCUS New Zealand supplied their official fisheries policy which broadly addressed the 5 LegaSea principles

Read FOCUS New Zealand’s fishers policy and support documents here

Total score: 82/120

Summary of FOCUS New Zealand’s policy in relation to each principle


rebuild2

Principle 1 – Let’s Rebuild the Fishery

1. Adopt the default target of 40% or better of the unfished biomass and set Total Allowable Catches (TACs) accordingly. (10/10)

Their response: Agree to a minimum target of B40.

Our summary: Excellent target setting strategies.

2. When the target biomass is reached allocation decisions can be made after fully considering the obligations to future generations, and after the full intentions of Part 3 of the Fisheries Act are adopted. (0/5)

Their response: No comment.

Our summary: No comment.

3. Adopt an ecosystem approach to stock management which better accounts for interdependent and associated species. (0/3)

Their response: No comment.

Our summary: No comment.

4. Adopt a cautious approach to management when stock assessments do not match up with the reality of what is actually happening in the water (0/2)

Their response: No comment.

Our summary: No comment.

Score for principle:    10/20

LegaSea summary: A  good commitment to rebuilding abundance .

waste

Principle 2 – Stop Senseless Waste

1. Information. All fisheries information is in the public interest, and all records that identify catch mix, species, methods, and areas of commercial catch needs to be immediately released into the public domain. In particular all data that has been collected on catch composition of inshore trawlers that has been gathered since 1990 must be immediately available for public scrutiny. (3/3)

Their response: There should be no secrets. The 1994 Trawl Mortality report must be released.

Our summary: Agree with this policy

2. Remove trawling that cannot demonstrate compliance with reasonable selectivity standards and minimised benthic contact from within the 100m contour.  (14/14)

Notes: The recent Snapper1 Commercial agreement sets a selectivity standard of juvenile catch at 15% of the total snapper catch by weight, which will typically run to 30% by number of total fish  killed. Clearly, this is a standard that accepts poor selectivity and is not reasonable.

Their response: They go beyond simply removing the methods and advocate penalties for wastage.

Our summary: Agree with the recommendation

3. Resource the public conversation designed to develop ways to reduce waste in the recreational sector. Invest in education to provide the public with the tools and understanding required to better conserve fish. (0/3)

Notes – The public are more than ready to further conserve precious resources, but only in the context of rebuilding abundance, not to subsidise export driven commercial fishing.

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:   17/20

LegaSea Summary: FOCUS New Zealand  are committed to reducing the level of waste that is occurring in our fisheries.

ownership

Principle 3 – Fisheries are Publicly Owned

1. Recognise fish stocks as public resources and consider applying a Resource Rental regime   to captures the extra competitive profit that arise from commercial fishing in the EEZ. (5/5)

Their response: Establish a royalty on commercial fishing so that the nation can get fair compensation for the private utilisation of the resources we all own.

Our summary: Clear and unequivocal.

2. That your party unequivocally states the intention to keep managing recreational fishing outside the Quota Management System (QMS). (0/10)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

3. Encourage the public to conserve fish by resourcing public led research and consultation aimed at developing a raft of measures to accelerate rebuilds without fear of those fish being later allocated to export driven commercial fishing. (0/5)

Notes: Government needs certainty and safety when regulating public fishing interests. Both Government and the public are tired of being ‘gamed’ by Ministry led regulatory measures designed to increase commercial access at the expense of public utility and wellbeing.

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:    5/20

LegaSea summary: FOCUS New Zealand  acknowledge that the public are owners of the fishery and that a resource rental should be payable.

size

Principle 4 – Equal Size Limits for All

1. Standardise, across all sectors, the MLS for all fish stocks and set them for biological and stock management outcomes rather than using it as an allocation tool. The default policy is to increase MLS to the highest current size. (15/20)

Their response: ‘Essentially all they say is increase commercial MLS. Need more detail to determine understanding as to why this is so important.

Score for principle:      15/20

LegaSea summary: FOCUS New Zealand show  recognition of the need to implement standardised minimum legal sizes.

val

Principle 5 – Value Recreational Fishing

1. Commit to resourcing full and proper research in order to establish an economic value of recreational fishing. (15/20)

Note: This is work that needs to be undertaken independent of MPI. The NZSFC and Marine Research Foundation stand by to coordinate and supervise this work and deliver both outstanding value and definitive results.

Their response: Promote a better understanding of the value of all  the sectors.

Score for principle:     15/20

LegaSea summary: FOCUS New Zealand recognises the importance of fishing to New Zealand’s economy and acknowledge that a study is required, but no direct commitment to undertake or fund this work.

bonus

Bonus Points for other ways to rebuild fisheries and protect public access to them

Their response: The 1994 Trawl Mortality report should be released and further studies done to get an accurate figure on the level of wastage in the fishing industry.

Our summary: It is encouraging that FOCUS New Zealand has recognised the need and importance of making the 1994 report available to the public.

Bonus : 20/20

 

Grand Total:  82 /120

Overall summary: FOCUS New Zealand’s Fisheries Policy is focused on the well beings of the fisheries and the public’s non commercial fishing interests.

Labour

Labour launched their fisheries policy which appeared to be heavily focused on commercial fishing.

They then supplied a supplementary document on their position in relation to our 5 principles.

Read the Labour policy and supporting documents here

Total score: 78/120

Summary of Labour’s policy in relation to each principle


rebuild2

Principle 1 – Let’s Rebuild the Fishery

1. Adopt the default target of 40% or better of the unfished biomass and set Total Allowable Catches (TACs) accordingly. (10/10)

Their response: Labour is committed to rebuilding the fish stocks to a target stock size in line with contemporary international best practise. For many of our iconic inshore fisheries this is at or about 40% of the unfished biomass.

Adopt a strategy to increase stocks. “build greater abundance of fish stocks to increase sustainable use by all stakeholders” “support initiatives that build more value from our marine resources”

Our summary: Labour policy supports the principle

2. When the target biomass is reached allocation decisions can be made after fully considering the obligations to future generations, and after the full intentions of Part 3 of the Fisheries Act are adopted. (0/5)

Their response: No comment

Our summary:Allocation is referred to in terms of rights and obligations, without being specific about what Labour consider these rights and obligations to be. This is an unclear question, no one seems to knows what Part 3 of the Act is.

3. Adopt an ecosystem approach to stock management which better accounts for interdependent and associated species. (3/3)

Their response: Adopt and ecosystem based approach incorporating the precautionary principle.

Our summary: Supports the principle

4. Adopt a cautious approach to management when stock assessments do not match up with the reality of what is actually happening in the water (2/2)

Their response: Incorporate the precautionary principle which deals with the uncertainty in stock assessments

Our summary:

Labour policy addresses the issues of rebuilding and using contemporary targets.

Score for principle:    15/20

LegaSea summary: Labour policy addresses the issues of rebuilding and using contemporary targets.

waste

Principle 2 – Stop Senseless Waste

1. Information. All fisheries information is in the public interest, and all records that identify catch mix, species, methods, and areas of commercial catch needs to be immediately released into the public domain. In particular all data that has been collected on catch composition of inshore trawlers that has been gathered since 1990 must be immediately available for public scrutiny. (0/3)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

2. Remove trawling that cannot demonstrate compliance with reasonable selectivity standards and minimised benthic contact from within the 100m contour.  (11/14)

Notes: The recent Snapper1 Commercial agreement sets a selectivity standard of juvenile catch at 15% of the total snapper catch by weight, which will typically run to 30% by number of total fish  killed. Clearly, this is a standard that accepts poor selectivity and is not reasonable.

Their response: Not addressed directly. Only reference is a claim to “minimise impacts of commercial and recreational fishing practices on marine ecosystems”.

Labour will ensure stronger action by MPI on determining the effects of the various commercial fishing methods and will move to eliminate methods that cause excessive wastage.

Our summary:  Very close to our principles, only missing a commitment to remove trawling from inshore waters.

3. Resource the public conversation designed to develop ways to reduce waste in the recreational sector. Invest in education to provide the public with the tools and understanding required to better conserve fish. (0/3)

Notes – The public are more than ready to further conserve precious resources, but only in the context of rebuilding abundance, not to subsidise export driven commercial fishing.

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:   11/20

LegaSea Summary Doesn’t directly address waste

ownership

Principle 3 – Fisheries are Publicly Owned

1. Recognise fish stocks as public resources and consider applying a Resource Rental regime   to captures the extra competitive profit that arise from commercial fishing in the EEZ. (0/5)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

2. That your party unequivocally states the intention to keep managing recreational fishing outside the Quota Management System (QMS). (5/10)

Their response: Labour undertakes to put the interests of recreational fishers first. ”Labour wants to preserve our snapper fishery for future generations but

in doing so we will put the interests of recreational fishers first.“

Our summary: Addresses the issue in an oblique way. Putting the interests of recreational fishers first requires they remain outside the QMS.

3. Encourage the public to conserve fish by resourcing public led research and consultation aimed at developing a raft of measures to accelerate rebuilds without fear of those fish being later allocated to export driven commercial fishing. (5/5)

Notes: Government needs certainty and safety when regulating public fishing interests. Both Government and the public are tired of being ‘gamed’ by Ministry led regulatory measures designed to increase commercial access at the expense of public utility and wellbeing.

Their response: “Initiate research and consultation on rebuilding snapper 1 stocks including measures to reduce waste in order to accelerate the rebuild.”

Our summary: Labour supports the principle

Score for principle:   10/20

LegaSea summary: Labour show some good intentions. This principle though refers to public ownership of marine resources and Labour failed to directly comment.

size

Principle 4 – Equal Size Limits for All

1. Standardise, across all sectors, the MLS for all fish stocks and set them for biological and stock management outcomes rather than using it as an allocation tool. The default policy is to increase MLS to the highest current size.

Their response:  We agree that there needs to be fairness in setting size limits for inshore fish species. Where it can be shown that unequal size limits results in the commercial sector effectively being allocated more of the catch we will act to remedy this inequity.

Score for principle:       10/20

LegaSea summary: Implies standardisation but doesn’t offer direct support for the single minimum size policy.

val

Principle 5 – Value Recreational Fishing

1. Commit to resourcing full and proper research in order to establish an economic value of recreational fishing.

Note: This is work that needs to be undertaken independent of MPI. The NZSFC and Marine Research Foundation stand by to coordinate and supervise this work and deliver both outstanding value and definitive results.

Their response: A Labour Government will require MPI to assess and include the full economic value of the recreational sector in any analysis for future fisheries management decisions. The recreational sector must be fully consulted in establishing the value of the economy of recreational fishing.

Score for principle:    20/20

LegaSea summary: Labour recognise the importance of valuing the recreational fishing industry

bonus

Bonus Points for other ways to rebuild fisheries and protect public access to them

Their response:  

*   Labour supports recreational only reserves as part of a broader marine conservation plan but notes that the inshore Hauraki Gulf area has little commercial fishing pressure and the plan needs to be much broader.

*  Define the baseline sustainability standards producers must meet, including the use of appropriate fishing methods, and drive fisheries to this level.

LegaSea’s summary: Labour’s has offered some additional ideas on how to advance our fisheries and protect non commercial fishing interests.

Bonus : 12/20

Grand Total:  78 /120

Overall summary: Labour’s fisheries policy encompasses many aspects of the commercial fishery while being solid in support of recreational fishing.

Conservative
Party

The Conservative Party supplied LegaSea with an email summarising their fishing policy, of which they have not supplied.

They did not directly respond to the LegaSea Tip the Scales principles

Read the Conservative policy here

Total score: 48/120

Summary of Conservative Party’s policy in relation to each principle


rebuild2

Principle 1 – Let’s Rebuild the Fishery

1. Adopt the default target of 40% or better of the unfished biomass and set Total Allowable Catches (TACs) accordingly. (0/10)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

2. When the target biomass is reached allocation decisions can be made after fully considering the obligations to future generations, and after the full intentions of Part 3 of the Fisheries Act are adopted. (1/5)

Their response: Recreational fishers total catch (bag limit) of snapper will remain at 7 until biomass has increased.

Our summary: Difficult to reconcile this statement with  the policy recommendation. – does demonstrate some good intent.

3. Adopt an ecosystem approach to stock management which better accounts for interdependent and associated species. (0/3)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

4. Adopt a cautious approach to management when stock assessments do not match up with the reality of what is actually happening in the water (0/2)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:    1 /20

LegaSea summary: The Conservative party appear confused about what constitutes fisheries management success.

waste

Principle 2 – Stop Senseless Waste

1. Information. All fisheries information is in the public interest, and all records that identify catch mix, species, methods, and areas of commercial catch needs to be immediately released into the public domain. In particular all data that has been collected on catch composition of inshore trawlers that has been gathered since 1990 must be immediately available for public scrutiny. (0/3)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

2. Remove trawling that cannot demonstrate compliance with reasonable selectivity standards and minimised benthic contact from within the 100m contour.  (14/14)

Notes: The recent Snapper1 Commercial agreement sets a selectivity standard of juvenile catch at 15% of the total snapper catch by weight, which will typically run to 30% by number of total fish  killed. Clearly, this is a standard that accepts poor selectivity and is not reasonable.

Their response: “That there will be a ban of commercial trawling within 7nm of the mainland coast of New Zealand.”

“That there will be a ban on commercial fishing within the Hauraki Gulf. (All other areas are covered by the 7nm ban)”

“Gill nets will be banned for everything except flounder and mullet.”

Our summary: A strong desire to remove damaging fishing methods from areas close to shore.

3. Resource the public conversation designed to develop ways to reduce waste in the recreational sector. Invest in education to provide the public with the tools and understanding required to better conserve fish. (0/3)

Notes – The public are more than ready to further conserve precious resources, but only in the context of rebuilding abundance, not to subsidise export driven commercial fishing.

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:   14 /20

LegaSea Summary: The Conservative Party show a strong indication that removing damaging fishing methods from inshore areas is a priority.

ownership

Principle 3 – Fisheries are Publicly Owned

1. Recognise fish stocks as public resources and consider applying a Resource Rental regime to captures the extra competitive profit that arise from commercial fishing in the EEZ. (3/5)

Their response: It is our view that the wild fish of New Zealand belong firstly to the New Zealand people for their recreational enjoyment and secondly as a resource to be sustainably used by the commercial sector.

Our summary: Ownership to NZ people. No royalty payable for private use.

2. That your party unequivocally states the intention to keep managing recreational fishing outside the Quota Management System (QMS). (0/10)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

3. Encourage the public to conserve fish by resourcing public led research and consultation aimed at developing a raft of measures to accelerate rebuilds without fear of those fish being later allocated to export driven commercial fishing. (0/5)

Notes: Government needs certainty and safety when regulating public fishing interests. Both Government and the public are tired of being ‘gamed’ by Ministry led regulatory measures designed to increase commercial access at the expense of public utility and wellbeing.

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:     3/20

LegaSea summary: While the Conservative Party seem to agree in principle that our fisheries are publicly owned, they fail to consider if the public should receive a rental for the private exploitation of them. No mention of maintaining recreational fishers outside of the QMS.

size

Principle 4 – Equal Size Limits for All

1. Standardise, across all sectors, the MLS for all fish stocks and set them for biological and stock management outcomes rather than using it as an allocation tool. The default policy is to increase MLS to the highest current size. (15/20)

Their response: That the legal size will be the same for both recreational and commercial fisherman for all species (Crayfish etc.) in the sea/shoreline. The legal size will be set at 27cm for snapper.

Score for principle:     15 /20

LegaSea summary: Agrees that size limits should be equal. Disagrees that size limit should be set at the highest current size limit as per the recommendation.

val

Principle 5 – Value Recreational Fishing

1. Commit to resourcing full and proper research in order to establish an economic value of recreational fishing. (0/20)

Note: This is work that needs to be undertaken independent of MPI. The NZSFC and Marine Research Foundation stand by to coordinate and supervise this work and deliver both outstanding value and definitive results.

Their response: No comment

Score for principle:    0 /20

LegaSea summary: No comment on establishing an economic value for recreational fishing

bonus

Bonus Points for other ways to rebuild fisheries and protect public access to them

Their response:

  • Commercial fisherman will be banned from catching Kahawai and Kingfish. These will become recreational species only
  • Recreational fishers total catch (bag limit) of snapper will remain at 7 until biomass has increased.
  • Commercial fisherman will return to port with ALL by-catch and be prohibited from dumping any at sea and a proper monitoring program will be implemented to limit by-catch.
  • The Minister of Tourism will ensure that adequate resources are provided to attract recreational fishermen from offshore as part of our Clean & Green Tourism industry.
  • In addition to cameras already legislated for, all commercial fishing boats should be fitted with Continuous Beacon Transmitters and their location plotted to ensure compliance with inshore fishing restriction
  • No snapper will be exported unless the price for export equals the wholesale market price. New Zealanders are not going to subsidise to the tune of 4 to 6 times the current export price. There is more value leaving the snapper in the sea than exporting them when price is so low..

Our summary: A wide range of additional measures supported by the Conservative Party. We don’t agree with land all catch policy as it would not be required under their other measures to remove damaging fishing techniques. Aggressive approach to  recreational only species. It is important that the public consumer is allowed for.

With regards to the suggested controls over what can be exported  – a step too far in our view and not required if waste and rebuilds are addressed.

Note: The LegaSea principles are not anti commercial fishing.

Bonus : 15/20

 

Grand Total:  48 /120

Overall summary: A strong focus on banning commercial fishing methods and restrictions on what fish are caught. We don’t agree with land all catch policy as it would not be required under their other measures to remove damaging fishing techniques.
Aggressive approach to rec only species and controls over what can be exported. A step too far in our view and not required if waste and rebuilds are addressed.
LegaSea is not as anti commercial fishing as this policy seems to lean towards but some credit for some good ideas such as Continuous Beacon Transmitters so their location can be plotted to ensure compliance. 

National

National have supplied a response to LegaSea’s 5 principles and offered this as official policy.

They then released their recreational fishing reserves policy and stated this was their full fisheries policy.

They have since released their Primary Industries policy.

We have used all of these in their analysis below.

Read the National Party policy and supporting documents here

Total score: 20/120

Summary of National’s policy in relation to each principle


rebuild2

Principle 1 – Let’s Rebuild the Fishery

1. Adopt the default target of 40% or better of the unfished biomass and set Total Allowable Catches (TACs) accordingly.(0/10)

Their response: We need to retain some flexibility in different areas and for different species, because imposing too tough a target too soon could mean slashing recreational and commercial limits in many areas.

This is also why there are regular reviews of all fishing stocks.

Overall we’re proud of the Quota Management System (QMS)

Our summary: The New Zealand Harvest Strategy Standard, supported by the government, specifies the targets and ranges considered sustainable. Many fish stocks are below or outside this range yet there is no commitment to restoration from National who prefer to act like there are no issues.

Blatant lies about there being “regular reviews of all fishing stocks” This can only serve to deceive the public into thinking that this is occurring. It isnt.

An example is the Snapper 1 fishery. Prior to last year it had not been reviewed for 16 years.

Also most all inshore fish stocks have never had a review that would determine the sustainability of current catches.

Seem proud of the quota system

2. When the target biomass is reached allocation decisions can be made after fully considering the obligations to future generations, and after the full intentions of Part 3 of the Fisheries Act are adopted.(0/5)

Their response: Not addressed

Our summary: No reference to allocation decisions and the purpose and principles of the fisheries act.

3. Adopt an ecosystem approach to stock management which better accounts for interdependent and associated species.(0/3)

Their response: No comment

Our summary:  No comment

4. Adopt a cautious approach to management when stock assessments do not match up with the reality of what is actually happening in the water. (0/2)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:      0 /20

LegaSea summary: No acknowledgement that stocks need rebuilding or ecosystems are under heavy stress. The only policy we have seen that is riddled with denial, untruths and deception. National policy doesn’t include any initiatives directly related to rebuilding our fisheries.

Incredibly, they believe that marine reserves are fisheries management tools.

 

waste

Principle 2 – Stop Senseless Waste

1. Information. All fisheries information is in the public interest, and all records that identify catch mix, species, methods, and areas of commercial catch needs to be immediately released into the public domain. In particular all data that has been collected on catch composition of inshore trawlers that has been gathered since 1990 must be immediately available for public scrutiny. (0/3)

Their response: No response.

Our summary: Content to continue to withhold information from research that would inform the public on trawl catch composition.

2. Remove trawling that cannot demonstrate compliance with reasonable selectivity standards and minimised benthic contact from within the 100m contour.  (0/14)

Notes: The recent Snapper1 Commercial agreement sets a selectivity standard of juvenile catch at 15% of the total snapper catch by weight, which will typically run to 30% by number of total fish  killed. Clearly, this is a standard that accepts poor selectivity and is not reasonable.

Their response: No response to remove trawling

Precision Seafood Harvesting hinted at a future solution to waste from trawling.

Our summary:  Continuing to justify inshore trawling until the claims of future technology benefits are realised. Placing all the bets on an as yet undeveloped technology is unnecessarily risky.

3. Resource the public conversation designed to develop ways to reduce waste in the recreational sector. Invest in education to provide the public with the tools and understanding required to better conserve fish. (0/3)

Notes – The public are more than ready to further conserve precious resources, but only in the context of rebuilding abundance, not to subsidise export driven commercial fishing.

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:      0 /20

LegaSea Summary: No commitment to deliver anything meaningful. Policy statement are imprecise and not directed at the recommendations. No benefit to fish stocks or the public.

ownership

Principle 3 – Fisheries are Publicly Owned

1. Recognise fish stocks as public resources and consider applying a Resource Rental regime   to captures the extra competitive profit that arise from commercial fishing in the EEZ.(2/5)

Their response: We don’t support a resource levy on commercial fishers for the same reason we don’t support licenses for recreational fishers – because it would add an extra layer of tax and complexity to the system.

Resource rentals have been explored by previous Governments, but in 1994, a decision was made to instead impose a system of levies and charges to recover the Government’s cost of administering the Quota Management System.

This was because cost recovery levies and charges were technically more feasible to administer, compared to estimating profits earned on each individual species of fish.

The 1992 Deed of Settlement with Maori in relation to their fisheries claims also created legal complications for imposing resource rentals.

The Government obtains a financial return through the tendering of new quota for new species introduced into the quota management system.

The seafood industry has paid over $300 million in levies to the Crown over the last 10 years.

Clearly, commercial fishers do not have ‘free’ access to fish. Any extra tax or levy would cost jobs, exports and raise the price of fish for consumers.

We don’t support a resource levy on commercial fishers

Our summary: Resource Rentals have been considered and rejected. This is inconsistent with the commercial use of all other national resources and nothing is offered that would make fisheries an exception.

National prefer to continue with a system of cost recovery, where commercial fishers are levied to recover direct costs attributed to their management. There is no component of cost recovery that represents a return to the public.

National claim the government receive a financial return from new species entering the quota management system. This is incorrect.

The $300 million paid over 10 years by commercial interests only covers part of the cost to government of administering their services.

Clearly, commercial fisher do have free access to fish. They don’t have free access to research and administration of the system. For the fish they catch and sell, there is no cost; these are free.

National supports the status quo and appears to be either confused about reality or are deliberately deceiving the public. Both scenarios are deeply concerning.

LegaSea is fully supportive of and believe in property rights, both private and public. In this instance, the property (fish) belongs to the people of NZ and their rights deserve just as much respect as the private rights of TACC shareholders.

2. That your party unequivocally states the intention to keep managing recreational fishing outside the Quota Management System (QMS). (0/10)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

3. Encourage the public to conserve fish by resourcing public led research and consultation aimed at developing a raft of measures to accelerate rebuilds without fear of those fish being later allocated to export driven commercial fishing. (0/5)

Notes: Government needs certainty and safety when regulating public fishing interests. Both Government and the public are tired of being ‘gamed’ by Ministry led regulatory measures designed to increase commercial access at the expense of public utility and wellbeing.

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:      2 /20

LegaSea summary: National have considered but do not support a resource royalty and will continue to retain free access for private companies to profit from the public resource. National does not acknowledge that fisheries are publicly owned, presumably because they are confused about the property right of  Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) shares being ownership of fish which they are not – The property is shares, the underlying asset is the TACC, which could be anywhere from 0% to 100% of the Total Allowable Catch at the minister’s discretion.

No response to continuing to manage recreational fishers outside of the Quota Management System.  Their primary industry policy does imply that they support recreational fishers having a proportional share of some fisheries, which we reject as it goes against the intentions of the fisheries act.

size

Principle 4 – Equal Size Limits for All

1. Standardise, across all sectors, the MLS for all fish stocks and set them for biological and stock management outcomes rather than using it as an allocation tool. The default policy is to increase MLS to the highest current size.

Their response: The reason why commercial fishers have different size limits for some species in a small number of areas is that it encourages them to use more of what they catch, instead of dumping it.

For this reason, some recreational fishers have argued there should be no minimum size limit for commercial fishers.

However I believe we have the balance right in most fisheries, but this is something we monitor very closely.

National say that different size limits only occur in small areas. This is not the truth as commercial fishers have a no size limit for gurnard a very popular and highly valued recreational species, nationwide.

Score for principle:       0 /20

LegaSea summary: National says commercial fishers have smaller size limits because it encourages them to use more of what they catch rather than dump it. This demonstrates their refusal to acknowledge:

A) The inappropriateness of the bulk harvesting methods that can’t avoid small fish

B) The fact that commercial fisherman can get more money for a tonne of small fish than they can from a tonne of larger fish.

C) Small minimum sizes have little to do with illegal dumping.

National say that different size limits only occur in small areas. This is not the truth as commercial fishers have a no size limit for gurnard a very popular and highly valued recreational species, nationwide.

val

Principle 5 – Value Recreational Fishing

1. Commit to resourcing full and proper research in order to establish an economic value of recreational fishing.

Note: This is work that needs to be undertaken independent of MPI. The NZSFC and Marine Research Foundation stand by to coordinate and supervise this work and deliver both outstanding value and definitive results.

Their response: Estimating the value for recreational fishing is difficult as it’s impossible to put a dollar value on the enjoyment and pleasure gained by New Zealanders.

We do know that the value of recreational fishing in New Zealand for the top five recreational species (snapper, rock lobster, kingfish, kawhai and blue cod) is $342 million.

Of course there are 638 fish stocks throughout New Zealand, and it would be almost impossible to calculate the total value of these or the jobs created by the recreational sector.

Various studies have attempted to quantify this using a wide variety of methods for estimating fishing values, but there is little that can be applied to the New Zealand context.

A Snapper 1 Strategy Group has been set up to develop long term plans for this fishery, involving both recreational and commercial representatives. This group may be interested in looking further at this issue.

Score for principle:      0 /20

LegaSea summary: It is not too difficult to measure the size of the recreational fishing industry. There is an accepted methodology available that has proved successful in many offshore jurisdictions and there is no reason it will not be successful here. The suggestion that there is nothing that can be applied to New Zealand is just wrong.

A recent horizon poll that measured expenditure and participation of recreational fishing concluded the total value was in excess of $3 billion (not the $342 as suggested by National)

The Snapper 1 Strategy Group may well have an interest in valuations, but the question is directed at National, and they display no appetite for any better economic information on the recreational fishing industry.

National put valuing public fishing in the too hard basket. The results are potentially a game-changer. In one study in the US a recreationally caught fish was worth 69 times more than the same weight of fish caught commercially.

bonus

Bonus Points for other ways to rebuild fisheries and protect public access to them

Their response:

Establishment of a Snapper strategic working group

Marine protected areas – rec only fishing reserves

Cracking down on poachers with front line fisheries officers

Spending on helping to protect important waterways

Raft of measures to address waste including:

  • Effort to record commercial waste by requiring all undersized catch to be reported. (no indication of how that information will be made available or used)
  • Mandatory vessel monitoring (no results, information or how this is to be monitored or used is known)
  • Trailing use of cameras (no results, information or how this is to be monitored or used is known)
  • Establishment of management strategy group (although this does not reduce juvenile mortality.
  • Move on rule

Our summary: Great to see some positive action to help reduce waste. We welcome the recording of information but insist this be made publicly available. Cameras and observers are positive steps.
This is a legacy issue surrounded in confounding information, and given the need to respond quickly we are mostly in support of the initiatives of 2013.

Concerns we have with the measures:

  • None of these measures directly address current waste or reduces the capture of small fish.
  • No mention of or intention to release the 1994 Trawl survey report that measures the mortality associated with commercial fishing.
  • The move on rule is confusing and disturbing. Anything less than 15% by weight (equalling around 36% by number) of undersized fish being the trigger point to move on leaves more questions than answers (i.e. what conditions have com fishers been moving on in the past if this is the new rule?) 36% of catch is still a very high level of waste to be endorsing. No information about who is monitoring this and what if any penalties apply to not adhering to the rule.
  • Continuing to justify inshore trawling until the claims of future technology are realised will continue to harm our fisheries. Placing all the bets on an as yet undeveloped technology is unnecessarily risky.
  • Maximum legal size for longliners only justifies the illegal high grading that is occurring with that method.

Having these measures but not releasing any information about who and how those measures are being implemented, monitored and enforced is very concerning.

The public need access to all fisheries information.

Recreational only fishing areas in areas already protected from the most damaging fishing methods seems cynical. We welcome this but don’t consider that they will do anything to address the real issues faced in our fisheries.

Bonus : 18/20

 

Grand Total:  20 /120

Overall summary: A poor attempt to justify current management. Little innovation or intent to manage fisheries to get the maximum value returns for the public, or to rebuild fisheries, restore abundance or increase diversity in our marine environment.

They claim to agree with most of the LegaSea principles then go on to disagree and offer complexity as an excuse for not giving a yes/no answer.

Very concerning to see National deliberately presenting factually incorrect statements in order to deceive the public into believing that they are delivering worthwhile outcomes in fisheries, for all sectors.

Maori
Party

The Maori Party has a very brief fisheries policy and most of its content is outside the scope of the LegaSea Tip the Scales principles.

They did not supply a response to the LegaSea principles

Read the Maori Party policy and supporting documents here

Total score: 13/120

Summary of Maori Party’s policy in relation to each principle


rebuild2

Principle 1 – Let’s Rebuild the Fishery

1. Adopt the default target of 40% or better of the unfished biomass and set Total Allowable Catches (TACs) accordingly. (0/10)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment.

2. When the target biomass is reached allocation decisions can be made after fully considering the obligations to future generations, and after the full intentions of Part 3 of the Fisheries Act are adopted. (0/5)

Their response: No comment.

Our summary: No comment.

3. Adopt an ecosystem approach to stock management which better accounts for interdependent and associated species. (0/3)

Their response: No comment.

Our summary: No comment.

4. Adopt a cautious approach to management when stock assessments do not match up with the reality of what is actually happening in the water (0/2)

Their response: No comment.

Our summary: No comment.

Score for principle:    0 /20

LegaSea summary: No direct reference to rebuilding depleted fisheries or reducing exploitation rates. The Maori Party refers to environmental sustainability in the context of kaitiaki exercising their responsibilities.

waste

Principle 2 – Stop Senseless Waste

1. Information. All fisheries information is in the public interest, and all records that identify catch mix, species, methods, and areas of commercial catch needs to be immediately released into the public domain. In particular all data that has been collected on catch composition of inshore trawlers that has been gathered since 1990 must be immediately available for public scrutiny. (3/3)

Their response: All fisheries information collected by the Crown to be released into the public domain.

Our summary: A welcome and clear intention to have fisheries information made available to the public for scrutiny.

2. Remove trawling that cannot demonstrate compliance with reasonable selectivity standards and minimised benthic contact from within the 100m contour.  (0/14)

Notes: The recent Snapper1 Commercial agreement sets a selectivity standard of juvenile catch at 15% of the total snapper catch by weight, which will typically run to 30% by number of total fish  killed. Clearly, this is a standard that accepts poor selectivity and is not reasonable.

Their response: No comment.

Our summary: No comment.

3. Resource the public conversation designed to develop ways to reduce waste in the recreational sector. Invest in education to provide the public with the tools and understanding required to better conserve fish. (0/3)

Notes – The public are more than ready to further conserve precious resources, but only in the context of rebuilding abundance, not to subsidise export driven commercial fishing.

Their response: No comment.

Our summary: No comment.

Score for principle:   3 /20

LegaSea Summary: The Maori Party policy references to protecting precious resources for the future but does not explicitly address waste.

ownership

Principle 3 – Fisheries are Publicly Owned

1. Recognise fish stocks as public resources and consider applying a Resource Rental regime   to captures the extra competitive profit that arise from commercial fishing in the EEZ. (0/5)

Their response: No comment.

Our summary: No comment.

2. That your party unequivocally states the intention to keep managing recreational fishing outside the Quota Management System (QMS). (10/10)

Their response: The Maori Party advocates to keep management of recreational fishing outside of the Quota Management System.

Our summary: A strong statement supportive of maintaining public fishing interests outside of the QMS.

3. Encourage the public to conserve fish by resourcing public led research and consultation aimed at developing a raft of measures to accelerate rebuilds without fear of those fish being later allocated to export driven commercial fishing. (0/5)

Notes: Government needs certainty and safety when regulating public fishing interests. Both Government and the public are tired of being ‘gamed’ by Ministry led regulatory measures designed to increase commercial access at the expense of public utility and wellbeing.

Their responseNo comment.

Our summary: No comment.

Score for principle:    10 /20

LegaSea summary: The Maori Party are silent on the matters of public ownership of fisheries and imposing resource rentals on commercial operations exploiting the marine resources. Full marks for the explicit commitment to keep management of recreational fishing outside of the Quota Management System.

size

Principle 4 – Equal Size Limits for All

1. Standardise, across all sectors, the MLS for all fish stocks and set them for biological and stock management outcomes rather than using it as an allocation tool. The default policy is to increase MLS to the highest current size. (0/20)

Their responseNo comment.

Score for principle:    0 /20

LegaSea summary: No comment on standardising minimum size limits and setting those for biological and stock management outcomes.

val

Principle 5 – Value Recreational Fishing

1. Commit to resourcing full and proper research in order to establish an economic value of recreational fishing. (0/20)

Note: This is work that needs to be undertaken independent of MPI. The NZSFC and Marine Research Foundation stand by to coordinate and supervise this work and deliver both outstanding value and definitive results.

Their response: No comment.

Score for principle:    0 /20

LegaSea summary: Not addressed at all

bonus

Bonus Points for other ways to rebuild fisheries and protect public access to them

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Bonus : 0/20

 

Grand Total:  13 /120

Overall summary: A brief policy, fisheries is obviously not a priority for the Maori Party. Although their explicit support for retaining public fishing outside of the Quota Management System and making all Crown fisheries information available to the public demonstrates a degree of understanding some of the core issues that concern recreational fishing interests are not addressed.

Mana
Party

Mana provided an email summary of their policy and did not directly respond to the LegaSea Tip the Scales principles.

Read the Mana policy and supporting documents here

Total score: 8/120

Summary of Mana party’s policy in relation to each principle


rebuild2

Principle 1 – Let’s Rebuild the Fishery

1. Adopt the default target of 40% or better of the unfished biomass and set Total Allowable Catches (TACs) accordingly. (0/10)

Their response: No specific policy.

Our summary: Not addressed.

2. When the target biomass is reached allocation decisions can be made after fully considering the obligations to future generations, and after the full intentions of Part 3 of the Fisheries Act are adopted. (0/5)

Their response: Nothing specific. Focus more on quota interests and having shared decision making powers to properly exercise kaitiakitanga over lands, coastal areas and waterways.

Our summary:Not addressed, but Mana keen to have local Maori managing local resources.

3. Adopt an ecosystem approach to stock management which better accounts for interdependent and associated species. (1/3)

Their response: General concerns for protecting the seabed and marine environment, including endangered species. Wants iwi and hapu to have decision making roles in central and local government in developing environmental policies relating to biodiversity, management of coastal areas and waterways.  Wants to review fisheries legislation and the QMS to ensure the original objectives are being met.

Our summary: A step in the right direction, but without policy it is difficult to determine the basis of concerns about the legislation and QMS.

4. Adopt a cautious approach to management when stock assessments do not match up with the reality of what is actually happening in the water (0/2)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:    1 /20

LegaSea summary: No specific information on fish stock management strategies.

waste

Principle 2 – Stop Senseless Waste

1. Information. All fisheries information is in the public interest, and all records that identify catch mix, species, methods, and areas of commercial catch needs to be immediately released into the public domain. In particular all data that has been collected on catch composition of inshore trawlers that has been gathered since 1990 must be immediately available for public scrutiny. (0/3)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

2. Remove trawling that cannot demonstrate compliance with reasonable selectivity standards and minimised benthic contact from within the 100m contour.  (2/14)

Notes: The recent Snapper1 Commercial agreement sets a selectivity standard of juvenile catch at 15% of the total snapper catch by weight, which will typically run to 30% by number of total fish  killed. Clearly, this is a standard that accepts poor selectivity and is not reasonable.

Their response: Prohibit all activities harmful to Maui’s dolphins in their habitat, including set and trawl nets, oil and gas exploration, and seabed mining.

Our summary: No intent to remove netting to protect fish stocks.

3. Resource the public conversation designed to develop ways to reduce waste in the recreational sector. Invest in education to provide the public with the tools and understanding required to better conserve fish. (0/3)

Notes – The public are more than ready to further conserve precious resources, but only in the context of rebuilding abundance, not to subsidise export driven commercial fishing.

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

 

Score for principle:   2 /20

LegaSea Summary: No commitment to reduce waste

ownership

Principle 3 – Fisheries are Publicly Owned

1. Recognise fish stocks as public resources and consider applying a Resource Rental regime   to captures the extra competitive profit that arise from commercial fishing in the EEZ. (0/5)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

2. That your party unequivocally states the intention to keep managing recreational fishing outside the Quota Management System (QMS). (0/10)

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

3. Encourage the public to conserve fish by resourcing public led research and consultation aimed at developing a raft of measures to accelerate rebuilds without fear of those fish being later allocated to export driven commercial fishing. (0/5)

Notes: Government needs certainty and safety when regulating public fishing interests. Both Government and the public are tired of being ‘gamed’ by Ministry led regulatory measures designed to increase commercial access at the expense of public utility and wellbeing.

Their response: No comment

Our summary: No comment

Score for principle:    0 /20

LegaSea summary: No comment on this principle

 

size

Principle 4 – Equal Size Limits for All

1. Standardise, across all sectors, the MLS for all fish stocks and set them for biological and stock management outcomes rather than using it as an allocation tool. The default policy is to increase MLS to the highest current size. (/20)

Their response: No comment

Score for principle:     0 /20

LegaSea summary: No comment on this principle

val

Principle 5 – Value Recreational Fishing

1. Commit to resourcing full and proper research in order to establish an economic value of recreational fishing. (0/20)

Note: This is work that needs to be undertaken independent of MPI. The NZSFC and Marine Research Foundation stand by to coordinate and supervise this work and deliver both outstanding value and definitive results.

Their response: No comment

Score for principle:     0/20

Public summary: No comment on this principle

bonus

Bonus Points for other ways to rebuild fisheries and protect public access to them

Their response: Mana want to review the Quota Management System to ensure the original objectives are being met, but unclear what those objectives are.

Our summary: Mana promote a review of fisheries legislation and the Quota Management System to ensure the original objectives are being met, but unclear what those objectives are.

Bonus : 5/20

 

Grand Total:  8 /120

Overall summary: A weak fisheries policy from the Mana party. Clearly not a priority.

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