Fishing vessel deck. (Photo: MPI)
Letter rejects New Zealander quota management system criticism
Saturday, June 17, 2017, 03:00 (GMT + 9)
In response to the criticism of New Zealand’s fisheries quota management system expressed by a team of experts led by Liz Slooten, Seafood New Zealand sent FIS.com a rebuttal from another group of scientists rejecting the points made in the first study.
The authors of the second article, which was also published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, argue that the challenges of the fishery management must be considered in a global context. They point out that the criticism expressed by Slooten et al. “largely focuses on ecosystem impacts of fishing” and the fisheries statistics they cited appear incorrect.
In this regard, they detail that in 2016, assessed stocks accounted for 72 per cent of total landings by volume, representing the majority of commercial fish species; 97 per cent of assessed landings by volume were identified as having no sustainability issues for target species.
In addition, they stress that the Quota Management System has generally been successful at reducing fleet overcapacity and fishing effort, eliminating harmful subsidies, maintaining productive stocks, and rebuilding previously depleted stocks
The rebuttal authors claim that those experts criticising the quota system highlighted several challenges in New Zealand, which apply to many other fisheries around the world but failed to recognize the positioning of New Zealand systems within a global context, as exemplified by comparative analyses.
For that reason, they insist that their findings that New Zealand fisheries management systems are among the world’s most successful at meeting objectives are consistent with previous findings.
According to these researchers, to improve fisheries management globally, the greatest gains to be made are in the lower performing countries, where there are currently insufficient resources and attention to achieving basic management goals.
The authors of the letter are Michael C. Melnychuk and Ray Hilborn from University of Washington; Matthew Elliott and Emily Peterson from California Environmental Associates; Rosemary J. Hurst from National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd; Pamela M. Mace from Ministry for Primary Industries; and Paul J. Starr from Starrfish.
- Researchers question NZ fisheries management success