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Snapper 8 catch history

Snapper 8 (SNA8) Catch History

West Coast North Island

Unconstrained pair trawling prior to the Quota Management System (QMS) rapidly reduced the west coast snapper 8 fishery to a mere 5% of the original stock size. Poor Ministry of Fisheries management like allowing the Quota Appeal Authority (QAA) to inflate commercial quotas and deeming, which has allowed commercial fishers to exceed their quota almost every year, has added considerable stress to the fishery.

Dumping and misreporting by the commercial industry have further contributed to the lack of rebuild of the west coast fishery. It is clear that excessive commercial fishing and poor management of the commercial sector by the Ministry of Fisheries are the ONLY reasons the snapper stocks are in such a poor state.

In 1995 recreational fishers took voluntary cuts to their catches out of concern over the poor state of the snapper fishery. Bag limits were reduced from 20 to 15, the size limit increased to 27cm and the number of hooks on longlines was reduced to 25. Since then recreational fishers have conserved an estimated 800 - 1600 tonnes of snapper. Recreational leaders are outraged that the latest decisions ignore those conservation actions and make conservation a futile exercise.

Projected numbers of snapper in SNA8 from 1931 to 2001. The impact of commercial fishing on the stock size has been immense.


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