Aotearoa Fisheries does not believe Glenn Simmons’ research paints an accurate picture of fish stocks because it is based on old data and is not reflective of our current Quota Management System.
At Aotearoa Fisheries we have a deep sense of responsibility and respect for our kaimoana, honouring the taonga we have been entrusted with. We take a long term view in everything we do and work in harmony with nature to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries for future generations.
Our fishers understand and respect that – after all, it’s their livelihood and that of their families at stake if fish stocks decline.
However, that is not to say there is no room for improvement in practices across the board. We’re always looking at ways we can improve what we do to ensure overall sustainability of commercial fishing under the Quota Management System. It’s the system we work under at the moment, but again, we’re happy to be part of ongoing discussions on improvements.
In terms of alleged fish dumping, we make it perfectly clear to our fishers that it is not acceptable, and we also make sure they have sufficient quota to land what they catch, ensuring there’s no need for dumping.
Our fishers are also wholeheartedly behind industry driven initiatives like the recording of undersized catch to better improve stock management, over and above government regulations, and use the ‘move on’ rule when necessary, to avoid undersized catch.
In addition, Aotearoa Fisheries has invested in Precision Seafood Harvesting that is a trawl technology that enables selectivity and small-sized live fish to escape.
We certainly recognise that New Zealand as a whole can much better utilise what is landed, and to that end we have a number of projects already underway to find out how we can better utilise what our fishers are catching, for the benefit of everyone.