Fisheries New Zealand has begun public consultation on a new draft national inshore finfish fisheries plan, which it says will guide management of important fisheries for the next five years.
Director of fisheries management Stuart Anderson said inshore finfish resources were important to everyone, providing customary, recreational and economic benefits, and managing them was important work.
"We want our inshore fisheries to remain healthy and sustainable, now and into the future," he said. "The draft plan aims to transform and improve how inshore finfish fisheries are managed, driving innovation and advancing ecosystem-based fisheries management."
Fisheries management was changing, he added, and needed to provide greater participation and transparency in management and decision-making, be more responsive and improve environmental performance. Increased participation for tangata whenua and stakeholders at national, regional and local levels was a central theme throughout the plan.
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The plan focuses on five key areas: standardising approaches to monitoring and managing individual fish stocks that shared similar characteristics; enhancing benefits for all users, and engaging sectors to customise the management of specific fish stocks to enhance the benefits they obtained; enabling integrated multi-stock management, and deciding who would manage them; ensuring that tangata whenua and communities benefited from local fisheries resources by engaging them in local area management; and reducing the impacts of fishing and land-based effects to improve the health of the marine environment.
"We all have a stake in the way our fisheries are managed, and I encourage tangata whenua, stakeholders and members of the public to engage in the consultation process and put forward their views on the draft plan," Mr Anderson said.
The consultation documents and information on the process, including deadlines for submissions, can be found at www.fisheries.govt.nz/news-and-resources/consultations/draft-national-inshore-finfish-fisheries-plan/