EDS calls for a wider review of the QMS
The University of Auckland today released the results of its study into harvest levels of New Zealand fisheries. The reconstruction of catch figures between 1950 and 2010 concludes that 2.7 times more fish has been caught than reported by official statistics.
“The results of the study raise concerning issues about the operation of our fisheries management system,” said EDS CEO Gary Taylor.
“Although the study indicates that the unreported catch has reduced in recent years, it is still significant.”
“In particular, the research suggests that the current configuration of the Quota Management System (QMS) incentivises the high-grading and dumping of fish.
“The study also raises issues around the reliability of data used as a basis for fisheries management decisions.
“EDS is calling on the Ministry for Primary Industries to broaden the scope of its current fisheries review to include the matters raised in this study.
“Another matter of concern is the way the QMS appears to enable fishers to challenge Government policy on marine protection.
This is a separate matter, but on top of the University findings, it reinforces the fact that the present terms of reference for the review are too narrow and technical.
“A much wider review is called for.
“New Zealand’s fisheries resources are enormously important to the country and we need to manage them well. The Auckland University study suggests that there is considerable room for improvement,” concluded Mr Taylor.
Read the report here.
Download full statement (pdf)