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Review of sustainability measures for southern blue whiting for 1 April 2020

27 March 2020 update: Minister's decision

Following consultation, the Minister of Fisheries has made decisions on sustainability measures for the southern blue whiting fish stock at the Bounty Platform (SBW 6B) for the 2020/21 fishing year, beginning 1 April 2020. This includes decisions relating to the total allowable catch (TAC), allowances, and the total allowable commercial catch (TACC).

The Minister's decision letter provides the details of, and reasons for, each of his decisions.

Related consultation

Review of sustainability measures for 1 April 2020

Summary table of the minister's decision



Decision summary

Bounty Platform southern blue whiting (SBW 6B)

  • Reduce the TAC from 3,209 to 2,888 tonnes.
  • Set the TACC at 2,830 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for customary Māori fishing at zero tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for recreational fishing at zero tonnes.
  • Set the allowance for other sources of mortality to the stock caused by fishing at 58 tonnes.

Background to consultation

Fisheries New Zealand sought feedback from tangata whenua and stakeholders on proposed changes to the sustainability measures for the southern blue whiting fish stock at the Bounty Platform (SBW 6B).

The consultation ran for 4 weeks from 8 January until 5 February 2020.

What was proposed for SBW 6B?

Every year we review catch limits for selected stocks. This is consistent with the requirement that Fisheries New Zealand ensures the sustainable use of fisheries resources.

The proposals for the SBW 6B fish stock were assessed:

  • in the context of the relevant statutory requirements
  • using the best available information, including the latest scientific information on the status of the stock
  • with tangata whenua and stakeholder input.

The agreed management approach for SBW 6B involves recommending catch limits based on the application of a harvest control (or decision) rule to the results from an annual abundance survey for the stock. This survey has not been undertaken for 2 years, and the best available information indicates the stock has not experienced strong recruitment in recent years.

On that basis, Fisheries New Zealand proposed reducing the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) to ensure the fishery remains sustainable.

Full details are in the consultation documents.

Consultation documents

Southern blue whiting at the Bounty Platform (SBW 6B) [PDF, 742 KB]

Overview of legislative requirements and other considerations [PDF, 574 KB]

If you can't open the documents or would like printed copies, email

Submissions are public information

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