New Zealand Hoki and McDonald’s USA: The final instalment


This recent New Zealand hoki and its use (or lack thereof) in McDonald’s filet-o-fish sandwiches in the USA saga has finally been put to bed; at least in New Zealand, by the Nelson Mail (1 Feb 2013). Although the situation in the New York Times blogisphere is still at large, with my friend David Jolly and his hoki axe to grind.

The Nelson Mail article (below) clarifies the situation nicely, with statements from Tony Hazlett (CEO) of Talley’s Nelson who exclusively supplied McDonald’s USA with New Zealand hoki:

Hoki and McDonald's US

“Concerns over hoki supply dismissed” The Nelson Mail (1 Feb 2013)

Although this article puts it all in order – and removes any innuendo as to the move away from the use of hoki by Hawaii (and continental USA earlier) may be related to sustainability concerns – It does contain one Huge, Gi-normous error…

“The New Zealand hoki fishery is currently producing as well as it ever has. The quota are conservatively managed and since its cut back to 90,000 tonnes [in 1997] it is now back to 130,000 tonnes, and that all surveys are showing that it could in fact continue rising.”

This editorial insertion of [in 1997] is incorrect. The management responses that reduced the hoki Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) occurred in 2007. In 1997 the TACC for New Zealand hoki was almost double of what it is today at 250,000 tonnes.

TACCs like these are a thing of the past. Since 2004-05 the hoki fishery has been managed according to a harvest strategy that ensures that stocks are kept at or above a level that produces a maximum sustainable Yield. this level is in the vicinity of the present TACC (maybe a little bit higher at 150,000 tonnes).


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