New Zealand: Hoki Quota owners advocate an increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC)

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Sealord and Talley’s are pushing for a 20,000-ton increase in the commercial catch of hoki for the 2013-14 fishing year beginning on 1 October. Their claim is justified by the robust status of this  fishery resourceThe two seafood giants from New Zealand are also predicting a bright future, with potential growth in investment and jobs, thanks to an improving exchange rate for exporters. Story by By Natalia Real at FIS.

Sealord holds about 30 per cent of hoki quota and Talley’s about 20 per cent, while Sanford owns about 20 per cent.

For the past several years, the total allowable commercial catch (TACC) has been 130,000, with the aforementioned companies and the representative Deepwater Group all advocating a conservative approach to protect fisheries, Fairfax NZ Newsreports.

Last week, the Ministry for Primary Industries released the latest comprehensive scientific assessment of the state of New Zealand’s fisheries, unveiling seven years of increases in hoki stocks and signalling a TACC increase; also mentioning the “substantially improved” orange roughy stock on the Chatham Rise.

Sealord general manager of fishing, Doug Paulin, said the hoki TACC could be increased by 30,000 tonnes:

However, we believe the right thing is to be conservative. In this case, an increase of 20,000 tonnes is considered conservative and sustainable. On the back of believing that the hoki fishery will continue to improve, we’ll continue to manage it conservatively, but within that, in future years, there’s still potential for increases as the science supports it.”

Paulin points out that the Sealord Nelson wet fish factory has already started processing hoki.

It’s looking pretty good. The fish are on the West Coast, they’re reasonably good-sized and relatively early this year. We’re pretty happy about it.”

The orange roughy TACC might also go up and conservative management of the stock was leading towards Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, which would make it the first orange roughy population in the world to achieve this.

Amatal Explorer (Talleys)

Amatal Explorer (Talleys)

Talley’s Nelson division chief executive Tony Hazlett said a 20,000-ton hoki increase was appropriate.

We’re really happy with the way the hoki fishery is at the moment, and the future is looking really promising. Further, the recent fall in the value of the NZD to under USD 0.80 has also been welcome news.

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