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Hoki - What a fisherman says

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    Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 10:55am
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https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/09/exclusive-nz-s-biggest-hoki-fishery-is-a-barren-wasteland-insider.html

Comm Fisherman says it has been obvious the fishery has been in decline for 7 years. Seems the answer to a shrinking biomass is to change fishing techniques, use bigger nets etc and keep catching the quota. When it becomes obvious you can no longer catch your quota economically you volunteer to shrink the quota to the level you can economically catch. Then you try and blame global warming or some other factor for the fishery declining.
So if the fishery has been in obvious decline for the past 7 years, why hasn't our fisheries ministry looked at the CPUE reports and made appropriate management decisions? Are the comms misrepresenting their CPUE? Are our fisheries managers turning a blind eye? Are they just outright incompetent? Or is there some agenda between the comms and government that explains all this? When the comms are volunteering to lower quota because they can't catch it economically it means that our fisheries management has once again failed.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote SaltyC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 1:55pm
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Our fisheries management is an abject failure. The agency tasked with oversight and management to maintain the fishery has been captured completely by the industry.

It is the down side of our "user pays" philosophy.

The funding for the management agency is provided primarily by the industry so they pay the piper and call the tune.

The management agency has become, in their minds and the industry's mind, dependent on the industry for it's survival. Their jobs are funded by the industry so in reality they are part of it, not separated enough to do what really should be done.

Effectively the minister only receives "advice" from the industry itself to inform his decisions and will always therefore make decisions that favour them.

Radical change is required to separate the ministry from the industry

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Tagit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 2:27pm
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If you read a bunch of the various reports floating around after conferences and meetings etc what you constantly read is along the lines of - 'the minister is waiting for proposals from the industry' 'the industry has proposed' etc etc. Then if the industry don't think the ministry or minister are doing what they want - 'the fishing industry has threatened legal action if the minister...'. What this is really saying is that 1) the industry has captured our government, and 2) the basic principle of our QMS is badly broken. Our government can not make decisions about how to manage a publicly owned resource because the QMS is fatally flawed and true sustainability is only something the industry will look at once they have taken as much short term profit from a stock as they can get away with. 
Have a read of our Orange Roughy fishery history some time to see how the commercial industry here really works. During the early days they would hit some area until that stock was badly depleted and then move onto the next new spot and do the same. Trouble started when they ran out of new unfished spots and had to start thinking about what might be a sustainable harvest rate. All these years later and 6 of the 9 major stocks are still not considered to be at sustainable levels. 
I read one of the O Roughy papers from 2007 and right back then the paper talks about the West Coast Hoki fishery having too many juvenile fish and needing to be managed better. Over 10 years ago and look where we are at today!!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 2:56pm
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I have a set of NZfish encyclopedia (Te Papa I think). They have every fish species caught in NZ waters, photos, biography stuff, habitats,  and commercial catch quotas, and commercial returns harvested. The number of species that have current catch rates waaay below the quotas is ridiculous. So they could more than halve the quotas on some of these fish, and it would make no difference to the catch rates or stock replenishment. Ridiculous. You would think by the time they are catching 20-30 % of the quota , something needed to be done???
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Tagit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 3:45pm
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That to me is one of the huge questions. When our ministry is supposedly looking at CPUE data and total catch data etc every year, and the TACC is constantly under caught and the CPUE is heading for the floor, surely that should be triggering some prompt action? Instead we get stock assessments and TAC reviews 10 years after the problems are already appearing. Who knows how much better off we could be today if the ministry had done their job properly and the reviews were done when the problems first appear. Recs & comms probably wouldn't be looking at the reductions we are now. Of course in the mean time the comms have profited from over fishing and the recs have suffered from reduced catch levels. That doesn't seem to bother anyone in government.

What appears to happen (think the recent CRA issues) is that the industry talk their way around the declining catch figures with the ministry and any action gets delayed until there is just no way of hiding the issues any further. If talking doesn't work the industry just threatens legal action over the lack of scientific evidence to support any reductions planned as a safety net for the stock. 

Bottom line is that our fishery is predominantly controlled by those who profit off it, and public who supposedly own the fishery get very little say. It's time for some public focused government to say enough is enough and change the rules about how we get control of the environmental damage associated with current commercial fishing practices. Don't need to kill off the industry or do anything too drastic, just get it so that the fishery can be managed for the long term benefit of the people of NZ and not the short term profit of a very small group of people getting rich off of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote pjc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 5:28pm
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Scrap companies and overseas investors holding quota?To get quota or hold quota you must own and fish the vessel yourself no sub leasing?
QMS is not WORKING
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote krow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 8:19pm
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Originally posted by pjc pjc wrote:

Scrap companies and overseas investors holding quota?To get quota or hold quota you must own and fish the vessel yourself no sub leasing?
That's the answer. Fishermen even most of the commercial ones actually care for the fishery and would look after it way better if they owned it as was the intention I believe. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Waihime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 8:32pm
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Hang on aminute! Isn't this tye same fishery that has recently been on TV with Mr Sinclair telling how it was in the best shape ever and was a rsult of an extremely well managed fishery??
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote SaltyC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2018 at 9:47am
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yes well, the industry can capture individuals as well as Govt Departments
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote baleup@gmail.com Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2018 at 2:23pm
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I myself am an employee on a commercial trawler and the biggest **** ups of sustainability and specie managment is in fact MPI as without going into details is the biggest revenue collecting **** up nz marine has and not only marine but all primary industrys that fall under MPI. and coming from working on the largest volume boat in nz of fresh hoki in season 150+tonne daily to port to now working inshore ive seen both sides of the trade and alot of difference in survival of certain species would be alot greater if MPI were not in control of how undersize fish are graded before being returned to the water later rather then sooner   
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