Several more shellfish species are to be introduced into New Zealandâs world leading quota management
system (QMS), Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope announced. However, he deferred a decision on the
introduction of seaweed into the QMS and says two important tuna species will not be introduced at this time.
Mr Benson-Pope says having considered advice from the Ministry of Fisheries, and the views of fishing interests,
he has decided to introduce most of the remaining stocks of cockle, pipi, tuatua, scallop, and dredge oysters
that are not already in the quota system. From early March 2005 the Ministry of Fisheries will be consulting
stakeholders about catch limits and allowances that should apply to these stocks. The Minister will then
make decisions on these matters prior to the start of the 1 October 2005 fishing year.
âI have also decided not to introduce skipjack and albacore tuna into the QMS as had been proposed
by the Ministry,â said Mr Benson-Pope. âI am satisfied that, based on the available information, the
current management regime is adequately providing for the sustainable utilisation of these species.â
Seafood Innovations to drive export growth, product diversification and processing efficiencies
A new joint venture company has been launched to support export growth and gain efficiencies and
competitive advantage in the worldâs marketplaces for New Zealand seafood and marine products.
Seafood Innovations Ltd aims to underpin growth of the $1.2 billion dollar export industry by optimising
the current seafood harvest through developing and commercialising innovative, consumer appealing,
value added seafood and marine products. Projects will range from identifying the scientific basis for
measuring the sustainability of organically certified marine farms, novel food flavourings, upgrading
lower-valued species, improving the genetic stock of farmed species, improving the product quality of
existing species, and handling, processing and packaging innovations. On a world scale New Zealand
accounts for less than one percent of world production and two percent of the world seafood trade by value,
but for New Zealand seafood exports are the fifth largest goods export behind dairy, meat, horticulture
and forestry, providing employment for some 26,000 people.