Our Seas Our Future (OSOF) is pleased to support the ‘Your Fisheries – Your say’ Consultation, which will allow the public to voice their concerns and recommendations on matters relating to the New Zealand fisheries management system.
OSOF encourages the public, and all other stakeholders to express their views before the submission deadline on 17th March 2019.
OSOF has long advocated for positive marine outcomes under the umbrella brand of Sustainable Seafood Now. OSOF believes that this consultation is an important tool for all stakeholders to participate in building a sustainable future for our fisheries. The state of New Zealand’s fisheries is of concern to industry players, and is also an important part of New Zealand’s heritage. Our oceans and marine wildlife are a taonga, to be sustainably managed and protected for future generations.
OSOF spokesperson Rikki Taylor, a MSc graduate specialising in fisheries indicators for ecosystem-based management, acknowledges that whilst the consultation is a step in the right direction, current flaws in our fisheries system need to be effectively addressed as we transition towards a ecosystem based approach.
“We aren’t seeing enough spatial planning mixing in with the Quota Management System. Whilst issues such as illegal discards are important in their own right, our current network of Marine Protected Areas are limited and are inadequate for supporting fisheries and ecosystems, as they don’t provide enough refuge for bycatch or declining species.”
Additionally, OSOF hopes to see the effective enforcement of future fisheries policy as well as greater public awareness through government-led campaigns on issues relating to fisheries.
“We need to look into the ways that these changes are going to be enforced through a monitoring system. Having this conversation can help us to consider how legislative changes can be implemented and managed.”
“The consultation will bring with it quite a major change, so the public need to be aware that this is happening. For example, if the public doesn’t know about improved industry practices, then there is a big loss of opportunity for industry to show the progress they are making. Otherwise, it’s possible that we will just revert to old methods.”
Alongside education, OSOF hopes to see technology play a crucial role in assisting with both monitoring systems as well as with data collection, enabling policies to adapt, and reflect the needs of our marine environment.
“Fisheries plays a major role in New Zealand’s economy and our culture, and we want to make sure we can strike a balance between the industry’s needs while supporting conservation measures, and to provide a sustainable resource for everyone to enjoy.”
“This consultation is about goal setting for a sustainable future not just a commercial future.”
OSOF welcomes the consultation as an opportunity for all stakeholders to have these important discussions, and ultimately position New Zealand as a world leader in sustainable fisheries with stocks that are resilient and recovering.
- Link, Jason. (2002). What does ecosystem-based fisheries management mean. Fisheries. 27. 18-21.