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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Fisheries Management

by the option4 team

What are the facts about swordfish?

A comprehensive answer from Blue Water Marine Research...

31 Jul 06

A brief explanation from the Ministry of Fisheries of biomass and maximum sustainable yield (MSY).

Jul 2006


What are 28N rights?

A brief history of the origin and law in respect of 28N rights, based on a paper provided by the Ministry of Fisheries in March 2006.

May 2006

28n rights

Background information and an overview of the mataitai reserve application process and answers to frequently asked questions.

Sep 2005

(116 Kb)

What is an AMP?

A full explanation of the Adaptive Management Programme used for fisheries management in an easy to read format by Blue Water Marine Research.

Feb 2004

Why not close the snapper fishery during the spawning season?

Then there would be more fish able to spawn, more eggs in the water and more fish in the future. The simple answer is that more eggs does not mean more fish will survive from that breeding season.

23 Aug 03


What do we think about 50 new species being introduced to the Quota Management System?
NZBGFC Submission to the Ministry of Fisheries

1 Feb 02

What is taiapure?
Taiapure, translated literally as "a coastal patch" is one of the means by which the government has acknowledged that Maori, as tangata whenua, are entitled to have rangatiratanga over their fisheries (amongst other natural resources), as guaranteed by Article II of the Treaty of Waitangi. Read more here >> >>

Jan 2002


What are the Fisheries Plans?
Fisheries plans will provide an opportunity for customary values to be recognised, not just in respect of traditional fisheries, but also in terms of the management of the resource as a whole. Fisheries plans will also provide greater flexibility to respond to local initiatives so that those directly involved in a fishery can determine how best to manage the fishery. Fisheries management decisions will continue to be made by the Minister on an annual basis...

Feb 2001



Are more marine reserves a good option to help build up depleted stocks. How about a rotation type programme where we put a 5-6 year ban on a designated area or make some species available in a particular season as per Ducks?

Read answer here >> >>

Jan 2001


With Brierly selling the 50% share of Sealord to a Japanese Co how much will NZ benefit from the fishery in the future?
Brierly is no longer a New Zealand company. Nissui offers opportunities in marketing and high tech. processing that Brierly couldn't offer and definitely has more of a long-term interest in the fishing business than BIL. The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission holds on to all the fishing quota and increases their share holding in Sealord (in fact reducing foreign ownership).

Jan 2001

Why is there so much commercial pressure on Kahawai and Kingfish?
Because they are managed as commercial species that can be fished down to the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY). The change we have seen in these fisheries over the last 15 years occurs in all fisheries as they are fished down to the level that will support MSY - usually about 20% by weight of the unfished population.

Jan 2001
It's a conservation issue isn't it?
Recreational fishing on its own does not threaten any marine fish stock in New Zealand. This is about allocating catch rights between recreational, commercial and customary fishers. There may be local deletion of snapper in a harbour but this does not threaten the sustainability of snapper in the wider population.
Jan 2001
Why don't we have a license payment system to help fund the Management of recreational fisheries?
Because this removes and existing right of free access to our fisheries. No matter who runs it, most of the money would be swallowed up managing the licences and not the fishery.
Jan 2001

What is sustainability in terms of current fisheries management?
The focus of the Fisheries Act 1996 is "sustainable utilisation". In the Act sustainability is described by Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY). However there is no single number that defines MSY for any fishery. In some fisheries the MSY is calculated using information on the age, growth and the number of juveniles that enter the fishery. In others trends in catch and average catch are used to model the productivity of the fishery. Most of these estimates are presented as a range of values, with the most likely estimate in the middle. The Fisheries Act also allows for species to be managed above a level that will support MSY. Ministry explanation of MSY here >> >>

Jan 2001

The characteristics of a fishery resource from a management perspective are that it is

a) open access, and

b) renewable

The fundamental problem to be addressed in the management of a resource with the characteristic of fisheries are

a) How to control access

b) how to set sustainable yield levels

c) how to ensure sustainable yield is maintained?

Read explanantion here >> >>

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