Introduction of New Species into QMS 1 October 2004
Tuna NZ Inc
This submission is an
attempt to capture the evolving perspective of tuna fishers in the
largest individually subscribed fishery in New Zealand. The fishery
has unique advantages and unique 'challenges', we request that MFish
take a fresh look at the fishery in line with an evolving climate
of resource management, evident by changing legislative frameworks
both nationally and internationally.
Tuna NZ Inc also acknowledge the long term involvement of a charter
arrangement between a New Zealand and Japanese company, we acknowledge
that this venture has assisted in retaining the TAC at the level
today. Dialogue is exchanged over management issues and we accept
that this company may wish to seek allocation to ensure that their
historical access to the fishery is not further eroded by an increase
In this issue Tuna NZ Inc reject comments made in the SeaFIC submission
regarding the tuna fishery on the grounds that they are not representative
of the majority of participants.
Tuna NZ do not support any level of priority to allocate property
rights for individual ownership of the tuna's and associated species.
We do however wish to define the participants through the introduction
of a permit moratorium
Species listed that are landed by Tuna NZ Inc members
Sth Bluefin Tuna
Northern bluefin tuna
Big eye tuna
Tuna NZ Inc make comments on parts of the MFish correspondence;
- We acknowledge the consideration given by MFish to the complexities
of the highly migratory species fisheries, reflected in the MFish
timetable for possible introduction - 2004. We value this regard.
- Tuna NZ Inc and the participants differ in their opinion on
the MFish view that the QMS ensures resource sustainability, too
many of today's fishers would describe events contrary to this
statement both in those fisheries where allocation has occurred
and for those that are yet to be allocated. The prospect to build
a catch history equally creates a 'race for fish'. Indeed contrary
to the views that private ownership encourages responsibility
the following statement signals the opposite, and is intensified
given the number of nations competing for a stake holding in the
…the reason industry interests still have an urge to deplete
the resource is just the same as for the destruction of a slow-growth
forest. To liquidate the asset, freeing up funds for higher returns
elsewhere. The difference of forests from ocean resources strengthens
this incentive: Not only is the investment yield from conservation
attenuated by a lack of control over fish in their fugitive state,
but - unless shares for a species are totally held by a 'sole
owner' - a partial ownership dulls the motive further for restoration
or protecting the ocean's bounty of fish. The incentive for overfishing
is intensified by ITQ's, and not reduced as claimed.
- The statement regarding the QMS as providing the best opportunity
for more efficient utilisation considers very narrow parameters.
Recognition is given to the work the recreational sector has undertaken
to quantify the value of both private and commercial charter activity.
An accurate measurement needs to be undertaken of some of the
other hidden benefits to coastal communities, we consider this
value to match and exceed the value of 'quota stock on the foreign
- Range of species
It should be noted that the species listed in the MFish correspondence
does not cover the complete list of species that those members
who surface longline land.
There could be as many as 10 other species (eg) escolar, butterfly
tuna, mahi mahi landed at varying times. Tuna NZ Inc have expressed
a desire that ALL of the species interacted with remain a suite
to prevent artificially created management issues (not able to
fish in areas due to no authorisation to land one of the species).
Closer investigation is required.
- Catch History Years
Tonnages recorded use the 1999/00 landing records for tuna and
the 1990/91 years for associated species. The difference in the
effort of those targeting tuna has increased significantly over
this 9 year period, the participants have also changed. We point
out that there is an imbalance in the tonnages using different
year landing records.
The more logical approach would be to assess fishing capacity
based upon current fishing activity, develop management measures
to justify this level of fishing activity (meeting sustainability
and utilisation ,scale of economies rationalisation) AND curb
greater expansion via a permit moratorium on the issue of new
and un utilised permits. This would bring about a 'settling' period
and allay concerns from other stakeholders expressing concern
about seabird by catch and the increasing take of broadbill swordfish
(ie) an initial management measure has been taken).
The extent of the fishery is reasonably well documented via observer
coverage and there are very few 'hidden' fisheries related issues.
We assume that MFish have considered that by reducing an allowable
tonnage of species to be landed does not necessarily ensure good
fisheries management. If the highly migratory species 'mix' is
not adequately reflected by current landings, objectives of sustainability
would be undermined, challenging fishers ability to meet their
obligations under current national and international fisheries
Tuna NZ understand the legislative responsibility to consider
species associated to and dependant upon target species, and have
concluded that in order to gain greater information species need
to be dealt with in a more strategic manner with a level of priority
attached to their 'interest'. These would then be progressed through
the formal processes of the Fishery Assessment/ Aquatic Environment
Working Groups. To ensure that this is 'affordable' a pre-assessment
criteria would be undertaken to ensure that fishers were committed
to the research undertaken.
The backlash against the Quota Management System has arisen over
interference of the allocation process. Those that are more politically
inclined and knowledgeable about the 'system' appear to have made
greater gains at time of determining catch history. Certain individuals
have been identified as influencing outcomes more than others, therefore
the integrity of the system is open to challenge. The following
comments highlight the global trend that demands legitimacy in fisheries
Those that waver in their views do so after pressure has been applied
by the threat of a venture that would see a SeaFIC Director lead
a New Zealand Company to purse seine approximately half the STN
TAC and have it farmed on in Australian waters. There are no guidelines
available legally for this type of activity, however it would have
huge implications to the sustainability of the entire tuna fishery
in New Zealand's EEZ (Tuna NZ have corresponded separately with
the Ministry about this matter).
It is widely assumed that legitimacy is conducive to compliance,
that fishers will adhere to rules and regulations if they consider
the management scheme as legitimate. It must be stressed however
that legitimacy is not the only factor that may lead fishers to
observe regulations. David Held's list of factors that may produce
compliance is useful
- Pragmatic acquiescence
- Instrumental acceptance
- Normative agreement
- Ideal normative agreement
Of these factors legitimacy
applies only to the sixth and seventh, according to Held. Here the
support is normatively based; citizens adhere to rules and regulations
because they regard them as justified and reasonable. Alternatively,
as indicated in 1-5, they could adhere to rules because they are
forced to do so, because of "blind' routine, or as a result
of strategic calculation respecting what may achieve the highest
The Quota Management System is not seen as a legitimate form of
Fisheries Management. The tuna and associated highly migratory species
fishery in NZ is in URGENT NEED OF A MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK, allocating
the resource amongst users is not management.
It is refreshing to read that MFish have stated that the QMS is
about money, in the past it has been confused with fisheries management,
we concur that the argument supporting the allocation of fisheries
resources to individuals is founded in economics, this taken from
the paper 'Quotas as a Fisheries Management Tool'
Before turning to the detailed workings of ITQs, it is useful to
place ITQ's in their historical perspective. Development of property
rights in fisheries (cf., Hanna, 1990, 1994a; Scott, 1986, 1989a,
b), coupled with increasing concern over economic efficiency and
growing reliance on the market for resource allocation, can be seen
as one more step in the historical process of widening and deepening
markets in economies (cf., Polanyi, 1944). Thus, ITQs are
part of the current global expansion and integration of markets
extended to fisheries.
Again we reiterate the highly migratory species fishery in New Zealand
is in urgent need of MANAGEMENT. It is extremely questionable if
there will be global agreement on the allocation of the commons
to private property, how then is New Zealand able to claim ownership
and allocate rights in perpetuity upon a resource that merely passes
through its EEZ? The time is well overdue for the emphasis to shift
to fisheries management and move away from the economic experiment
that the rest of the world is NOT going to follow.
There is a suspicion that based on the decade + of experience since
the QMS was introduced that the same pattern will emerge with fishers
having a distinct disadvantage of being at sea and not participating
in the establishment of the management framework. Often finding
out too late that decisions have left little alternative than to
exit. Those that have a well established resource base certainly
are well equipped to compete because they have more expendable capital,
this in itself sustains the inequality of rights ownership.
In sum, throughout history as societies are increasingly subjected
to economic rationalisation, frequently governed by markets, that
is, as economic forces become the predominant organising force of
society, social structures and labor relations change, often undergoing
substantial upheaval. This was certainly the case when medieval
European commons were converted to private property as part of the
development of a market economy (Barzel, 1989: Polyani, 1944; Hanna,
1990). Polanyi (1994, p. 35) notes. "Enclosures have appropriately
been called a revolution of the rich against the poor. The lords
and nobles were upsetting the social order, breaking down ancient
law and custom, sometimes by means of violence, often by pressure
and intimidation. They were literally robbing the poor of their
share in the common."
It would appear little has changed over the course of history.
What assurance will the Ministry of Fisheries give that New Zealand
tuna fishers will not see a repeat of the 'robbing of the poor'
by the rich? It is not the QMS in itself that is the problem it
is those that have used this system to their advantage at the expense
of the less informed that have caused the backlash. There is no
trust that equity and fairness will surround the allocation process.
If one delves into the history it is disappointing that the implementation
process has been less than desirable. Is New Zealand in the process
of compensating one lot of injustice whilst creating another? As
public awareness about resource management increases perhaps the
public of New Zealand will challenge the 'management system' that
introduced individual rights over the commons. No doubt it will
be too late, however relationships with Governing bodies will be
called into question.
Tuna NZ Inc support coastal communities and their expanding involvement
into sustainable resource management benefiting their communities.
We support the devolution of governance to regions and see this
as the long overdue mechanism to lend legitimacy to community involvement
in resource management.
Others would advocate allocation before this fundamental
Tuna NZ question whether modification of the rights based
system enabling coastal communities to require a greater level of
accountability of management structures is a way to move forward.
Such a model exists in the Pacific involving communities utilising
the full value of migratory species recognizing the economic value
to regions of commercial and recreational fishing whilst placing
value on a healthy marine environment.
- The quota management system in New Zealand is not seen as credible
and legitimate by participants in the tuna fishery. The challenge
to the credibility lies in the allocation process and historical
interference and manipulation that fishers have experienced when
participating in the allocation process of other fisheries.
- The political driver to settle the Crowns Treaty obligations
do not apply to the tuna fishery. Maori have not been excluded
from participating in the tuna fishery, to this time the fishery
retains its open access status. Tuna NZ Inc fully support the
Crowns obligation to settle with Maori, however in this instance
there is no basis for Maori to force the issue especially if this
has the potential to undermine the long term management of the
suite of migratory species.
- Tuna and associated highly migratory species globally are being
managed by controls on effort (restricting the numbers of participants
initially). It is doubtful if individual property rights will
ever apply widely, therefore it is misleading to issue property
rights to New Zealand fishers when there are no guarantees that
these allocations will hold fast under international scrutiny.
Using the Australian southern bluefin tuna fishery as an example
of introducing ITQ, it has created more problems than it solved
and once the rights have been issued in perpetuity it will be
difficult to determine compensation, or remove the expectation
- To introduce the prospect of quota where it was not previously
perceived as suitable, introduces the mentality of a race to develop
catch history. This attitude in an open access fishery runs contradictory
to moderation in extraction activities. What signal are fishers
to act upon - the Fisheries Act and MFish promotional material
- or go for it - its all catch history. As a stakeholder group
who have promoted moderation we would not wish to disadvantage
our members but encourage them as the current rights holders to
compete with the precedent being set by several individual SeaFIC
Directors - purse seine to develop the largest catch history.
- Further dialogue with the MFish and other 'rights holders' on
matters raised in this submission would assist to develop a credible
process that participants would be willing to participate in -
we work to those ends.
Hon Pete Hodgson - Minister of Fisheries
Hon Doug Kidd
Hon Winston Peters - Tauranga
Damien O'Connor - West Coast Tasman
Jeanette Fitzsimons - Coromandel
Janet Mackey - East Coast
Te Ohu Kai Moana
Recreational Fishing Council
Big Game Fishing Council
Seafood Industry Council
Federation of Commercial Fishermen
Tuna Trollers Association
Tuna and Pelagic Ltd