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Shared Fisheries Policy Initiative

Shared Fisheries Policy

Ministry of Fisheries

April 2006


Hui Report

Appendix Nine


Shared Fisheries Policy Initiative


  • MFish is working on a new policy project to improve the management framework for shared fisheries. Shared fisheries are fisheries in which commercial, customary, and recreational fishers have significant interests and share the available catch.
  • The project has been underway since late December 2005, when the Minister of Fisheries approved the scope and timeframe for the project.
  • MFish has an overall goal of maximizing the value New Zealanders obtain from fisheries.  To increase the value obtained from shared fisheries we need to:
    • ensure trade-offs made between the values of different sectors are       transparent and add overall value to the fishery
    • ensure each sector has opportunities and incentives to add value to the fishery, especially by conserving or enhancing the resource; and
    • ensure a full range of management tools is available
  • The end result of the project will be a policy framework – a set of criteria, processes, and management tools that can be applied to particular shared fisheries, generally through the development of fisheries plans.

Project timeframe

  • Preliminary discussions with key stakeholder groups – NOW
  • Release of public discussion document  ~mid 2006
  • Period for public feedback  - 4 months
  • Government decisions on final policy ~June 2007
  • Legislative change, Select Committee process ~mid-2008.

The preliminary discussions are an opportunity for stakeholder groups to give us feedback on whether we have correctly identified the key issues (as outlined on the following page) and provide suggestions for workable options to address these issues. 

Key Issues and Challenges

1. Criteria and processes for setting the TAC

  • Need to strike a balance between commercial and non-commercial values – that is, yield on one hand, and catch-rates/fish-size on the other

2. Increased certainty in allocation of TAC

  • Includes setting and adjusting the customary, recreational and commercial portions of the TAC
  • Need to maintain flexibility to respond to changing demands (e.g. population)
  • Is important to secure benefits of the Quota Management System (QMS) through predictable and fair processes of adjustment
  • Increased certainty and reduced conflict should encourage sector groups to cooperate in the management of shared fisheries

3. Accessible management tools to allow for the enhancement of non-commercial values

  • For example, to provide for separation of commercial and recreational fishing effort in key areas or fisheries
  • Enable increased local participation in management where interest and values are high

4. Effective management measures to avoid overcatch

  • Ensure there are appropriate incentives for commercial and recreational fishing to be maintained within their portion of the available take
  • Especially important in fully developed shared fisheries

5. More cost-effective and reliable information

  • Knowing the extent of non-commercial fishing is important for all of the above issues, especially 1 & 2
  • Important to monitor (and respond to) changes in demand
  • Participation rates are a critical unknown factor


Are there other key challenges that we have missed?


Do you have any suggestions on how we can address any of these issues?

For further information:

Project Contacts


Lindie Nelson, MFish, Nelson
ph: 03 545 8789
email: nelsonl@fish.govt.nz
Robin Connor, MFish, Wellington
ph: 04 819 4671
e-mail: connorr@fish.govt.nz


The project has a page on the MFish website, where we post document and updates. 

The website address is: www.fish.govt.nz/shared-fisheries

If you have any questions regarding the project prior to release of the discussion document, please send an e-mail to info@fish.govt.nz with the subject heading “Shared Fisheries”.


Ministry's full briefing paper given to the Minister of Fisheries in December 2005
in printable format here. Caution: (1.6Mb) » »



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