This winter, fewer hoki have been observed on the West Coast hoki fishing ground outside the 25 mile line, than expected. Observations of fish numbers from the other four hoki fishing grounds are as expected.
In response, Sealord joined other quota owners, who collectively own 87% of quota, to meet and agree some precautionary measures. Sealord provided a comprehensive review of the science and management for the fishery, and also analysis from fishing fleets in the West Coast. The reason for the decline is unknown, and is contradictory to the latest stock assessment and model predictions. It has been identified that sea temperatures in the south of New Zealand have been at historically high levels this winter.
Effective from 1st October 2018, industry have agreed to shelve 20,000 tonnes of West Coast quota being 90,000 MT reduced to 70,000 MT (22% of catch limit in west Hoki (equivalent to 13% of total)).
This is a proactive response to observations in the fishery, and allows for more science and assessments to be undertaken to build greater understanding of issues such as temperature changes.
Sealord supports this precautionary approach and significant demonstration of industry’s commitment to sustainable fishing. This conservative approach will have a positive influence on the hoki fishery and give it the strongest future.