Rock lobster fishing quota feedback sought
Fisheries New Zealand is seeking public feedback on proposals to allow rock lobster fishers to carry forward some or all of their uncaught Annual Catch Entitlement – ACE - into the following fishing year, which begins in April 2020.
The consultation is now open and closes on February 24, 2020.
These proposals are in response to market disruptions in China following the outbreak of coronavirus. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash last week announced that the rock lobster industry could return some live fish back to the ocean under specific circumstances.
“Annual Catch Entitlement is purchased by fishers from quota owners to enable them to catch fish each year. It’s generally purchased at the beginning of the fishing year and fishers plan their fishing activity to ensure they catch what they have paid for,” says Director of Fisheries Management, Stuart Anderson.
These proposals would allow fishers to transfer some or all of their uncaught ACE to the following fishing year to reduce the impact of trade disruptions.
“Our preferred option is to allow up to 10 per cent of ACE held by individual fishers, to be transferred if uncaught at the end of the fishing year.
“This change would bring rock lobster fisheries into line with many other fisheries, and we do not consider it would have any impact on the health or sustainability of rock lobster fisheries.
“This will be a short consultation due to the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the coronavirus outbreak, and the pressing need to provide clarity to affected fishers and their communities.
“We are reaching out directly to those affected in the rock lobster industry, iwi, and representatives of key stakeholder groups.”
To find out more about the consultation and have your say, visit: https://www.fisheries.govt.nz/news-and-resources/consultations/should-the-annual-catch-entitlement-for-rock-lobster-be-able-to-be-carried-forward/