Working together for blue cod

Working together for blue cod

At the beginning of July 2017, The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) held the first expert workshop in Christchurch to begin developing the National Blue Cod Strategy. The National Blue Cod Strategy will provide a consistent management framework that will improve fisheries currently under pressure and protect fisheries that are performing well.

The people invited to take part in the expert workshops are highly experienced fishers or consultants in either the customary, commercial or recreational space. Their expertise is being used by MPI to help inform and develop the National Blue Cod Strategy. They are not considered sector representatives.

As a first stage of developing the National Blue Cod Strategy, the experts were tasked with:

  • Identifying the overall problem facing the blue cod fishery (Problem definition).
  • Defining what we want to achieve (Aim).
  • Defining what we need to do to get there (Objectives).

The expert group recognised that blue cod fisheries in some areas are under pressure and in some places, fishers are telling us numbers are low. The experts also identified that there are different rules in different places and no joined-up approach, so it can be hard to react quickly enough to deal with these pressures.

MPI wants to work together with all sectors, communities and tangata whenua to deliver abundant and sustainable blue cod fisheries for all. There are a few steps involved in how to achieve this goal, and we’ll need your help in getting there.

First, we need to gather the right information. Information is the bedrock of any fisheries management system. We need the right information and science, and we need to figure out the best way to get it.

Next, we’ll need to set the right targets. Setting targets for fish stocks is about making sure we’re keeping stocks at sustainable levels that are right for the fishery and the people using it.

We’ll also need to look at the current rules and make changes where appropriate to make sure they are effective, understood and consistent.

Decision making is a key part of the process. We need a framework to drive good, consistent decision-making and to make sure decisions are made on time.

Finally, if this is going to work, we need everyone to come along and understand their responsibility to our blue cod fisheries.

We will shortly be reaching out to fishers, tangata whenua and the general public. This will involve public drop-in sessions, club meetings and an online survey to gather feedback on what the experts have developed so far, and to gather your thoughts about your local blue cod fishery.

To keep up to date and find out when to have your say, visit , follow one of our four MPI Fisheries regional Facebook pages, - MPI Fisheries Northland, MPI Fisheries Nelson/Marlborough/Kaikoura, MPI Fisheries Canterbury/Westland, MPI Fisheries Otago/Southland, or email [email protected] to receive fishing related email updates in your area. We look forward to hearing from you soon and working together for shared sustainable fisheries.

09 August 2017

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