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Fisheries NZ has new focus on innovation

Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the creation of a new specialist organisation dedicated to the sector will lead to greater innovation in the way we fish and the way we manage the resource.

“Today marks the first full day for Fisheries New Zealand. It is one of four new dedicated business units within the Ministry for Primary Industries along with Forestry New Zealand, Biosecurity New Zealand and New Zealand Food Safety,” Mr Nash says.  

“Fisheries New Zealand also carries the te reo Maori name Tini a Tangaroa, or whole of the sea. I thank my ministerial colleagues Shane Jones and Peeni Henare and others for their guidance on this name.

“Fisheries New Zealand, as its te reo name implies, is deeply interconnected across the whole of the sea. Our fisheries carry cultural significance and meanings, contribute to regional economic development and employment, and provide recreational and leisure opportunities. Our unique maritime environment also speaks of our country’s identity and reminds us of the need to ensure sustainability for future generations. 

“We need to balance the commercial benefits from fisheries with the responsibility to look after our treasured marine mammals and seabirds and to reduce the impact of fishing on the environment. Quicker and more accurate information about commercial fishing will allow us to better manage our fish stocks, and to understand and mitigate risks to protected marine species.

“Fisheries and aquaculture bring $1.74b into New Zealand per year and create thousands of jobs. We need to keep demonstrating that fish from our waters are sustainable, and that the environmental impact of fishing is being mitigated.

 “I will be looking for Fisheries New Zealand to do things differently. That means greater innovation in both the way we fish and the way we manage our fisheries. It also means greater engagement with stakeholders, and a focus on developing and implementing 21st century solutions to fisheries challenges. Fisheries New Zealand will have greater visibility and allow for a single point of accountability to enable a better understanding of who is responsible for fisheries management.

“Around 120 staff are brought together into Fisheries New Zealand, along with around 100 fisheries observers. They are based in eight sites from Whangarei to Dunedin. Fisheries New Zealand combines fisheries science, aquaculture, management, planning and monitoring. Other staff in MPI will continue to provide legal, policy and other shared services,” Mr Nash says.