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Beach cast seaweed

Review of Beach Cast Seaweed Harvesting

by the Ministry of Fisheries



Harvesting Review

In June 2009 the Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) issued a proposal document to expand the areas open to commercial harvesting of brown and green beach cast seaweeds. In the Initial Position Paper (IPP) MFish proposed three options for future management:

  • Option 1 - Retain the status quo
  • Option 2 - Expand the areas open to commercial harvesting of brown and green beach cast seaweeds to include coastal areas currently of interest to commercial operators (except where prohibited by regulation); and
  • Option 3 - Expand the areas open to commercial harvesting of brown and green beach cast seaweeds to include all coastal areas in the North Island (except where prohibited by regulation).

MFish’s initial view (June 2009) was to expand the areas open to commercial harvesting of brown and green beach cast seaweeds to include all coastal areas in the North Island (except where prohibited by regulation) – option 3.

In MFish’s view, and based on the available information, option 3 would better provide for utilisation of the resource. Also, risks to the sustainability of the resource or utilisation by either tangata whenua or recreational stakeholders are considered low given the abundance and renewable nature of the resource in the area and the harvesting practices of commercial operators.

Not everyone agreed with MFish’s initial view and a number of non-commercial environmental and fishing interest groups submitted in opposition to the proposals.


Submission deadline

The deadline for submissions closed on 7 August 2009.

Your Input

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To achieve a good level of understanding of complex fisheries management scenarios we believe it is important to read the information in chronological order so you can follow the process.

Beach Cast Seaweed

Media release

Forest and Bird warn that extending the commercial harvest of seaweed around most of the North Island coastline risks damage to the fragile coastal environment.

29 Sep 09

(Pdf 20Kb)

Forest & Bird do not support the extension of the existing rules to harvest beachcast seaweed. They also recommend a review of current rules governing commercial harvesting.Refer page 2 and 3 of the PDF..............

7 Aug 09

(Pdf 120Kb)

option4 notify both the Ministry of Fisheries and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Biosecurity that the team shares the concerns expressed in the Wellington Recreational Fisher's submission, and endorses that submission.

7 Aug 09

Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngati Kahu, based in Kaitaia, submit in support of option 1 - retaining the status quo. Their concerns are based on the impacts of increased vehicular traffic on beaches and that seaweed supports creatures that are a valuable food source for inshore fish.

6 Aug 09

(Pdf 140Kb)

The Wellington Recreational Marine Fishers' Association submit against all MFish management options and propose a new option. option 4 - to eradicate all removal of beach cast seaweed as it provides an important food source for other species including Hector Dolphins.

27 Jul 09

(Pdf 140Kb)

Various submissions on the proposal to introduce Bladder Kelp seaweed into the quota management system are available here............
Additional information

Television review of seaweed proposals

A clip from TV3"s Campbell Live programme. Included are interviews with advocates from Forest and Bird, Wellington Recreational Fishers and commercial interests.

21 Sep 09


Presentation on seaweed values

A presentation from the Wellington Recreational Marine Fishers' Association demonstrating the value of beach cast seaweed to other species in the marine environment and particularly inshore fisheries.

(Caution: VERY LARGE FILE......11 MB)

27 Jul 09

(Pdf 11MB)

MFish documents

Ministers Decision 2009

Minister agrees with a new option - 2b

The Minister of Fisheries, Phil Heatley, has agreed to extend the areas open to commercial harvesting of seaweeds in the North Island, except in prohibited and ecologically sensitive areas. Refer page 2 of PDF.

(Caution: Large file......1.2 MB)

29 Sep 09

(Pdf 1.2MB)

Final Advice Paper - MFish
In this Final Advice Paper (FAP) the Ministry recommend a new management option, 2b. This is in acknowledgement of environmental concerns raised in the 17 submissions reviewed. This FAP was released with the Minister's decision.

29 Sep 09

(Pdf 400Kb)

Initial Position Paper - MFish

The Initial Position Paper (IPP) from the Ministry of Fisheries including three proposed options for the future management of beach cast brown and green seaweed in the North Island.

June 09

(Pdf 290Kbs)

MFish Summary
An MFish one-page summary of the proposal to open more North Island areas to the commercial harvest of brown and green beach cast seaweed.

June 09

(Pdf 110Kbs)


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