Bay lobster limits a win for industry

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Seafood New Zealand chief executive Tim Pankhurst.
Seafood New Zealand chief executive Tim Pankhurst.

Changes to rock lobster limits in Hawke's Bay is being hailed an industry success.

The news comes after the wider announcement by Seafood New Zealand chief executive Tim Pankhurst that New Zealand's fisheries continue to perform well.

Mr Pankhurst was commenting on the latest Status of New Zealand Fisheries report published by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

About 83 per cent of individual fish stocks of known status and almost 97 per cent of landings are above or well above levels where their sustainability would be a cause for concern, he says.

"These figures are the result of a robust process and show that we are as good as or beyond the standard of the best in the world," he said.

Each year MPI convenes a series of Fisheries Assessment Working Group meetings, open to anyone with an interest who wants to attend.

Presentations are made at the meetings, combining the results of scientific research with catch and effort reports from commercial fisheries, data from the on-board observer programme and other information sources.

The information gathered through this process is summarised in two annual Fisheries Assessment Plenary reports and inform the annual fisheries sustainability review - the most recent review was announced last week by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

The minister said that the decrease in rock lobster limits in Wellington and Hawke's Bay was supported by the industry based on its concerns, and was an excellent example of commercial stakeholders taking a long-term view of sustainability.

Mr Pankhurst agreed. "These results provide assurance that our fisheries are in good heart and through the prudent management we have in place will be there for generations to come," he said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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