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EDS welcomes new science advice on commercial fishing but more is needed

23 March 2021

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Dame Juliet Gerrard yesterday released a report on the Future of Commercial Fishing in Aotearoa New Zealand which was prepared on the request of the Prime Minister.

The report contains a set of recommendations including the development of an Oceans Strategic Action Plan, applying an ecosystems approach to fisheries management, refining the regulatory framework for fisheries management, establishing a centralised data platform, and taking a more holistic and strategic approach to marine research and innovation.

“EDS welcomes the report which highlights the need to address the environmental impacts of commercial fishing activity and adopt more ecosystem-friendly fishing methods,” said EDS CEO, Gary Taylor.

“We have been increasingly concerned about the degradation of our marine areas, and the ongoing use of damaging fishing methods like bottom trawling and dredging, so the report is timely.

“The report contains an in-depth review of how science can be better deployed to support fisheries management which is very helpful. But as Dame Juliet acknowledges, the purpose of the report was to provide science advice and it specifically excludes a review of the quota management system. The management of recreational fishing was also outside the scope of the report.

“Our work on the quota management system, which we summarised in Voices from the Sea, demonstrated that it is no longer fit for purpose and a broader review of the fisheries management system is urgently required.

We urge the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Hon David Parker to establish such a review which could be modelled on the very successful Randerson Panel Review of the resource management system. The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor’s report would provide a very useful input into such a review,” concluded Mr Taylor

See Voices from the Sea in our bookstore here