Implementation of WCPFC measures on shark conservation

Closing Date:

Consultation update – 7 December 2015

Government's decision

Consultation has closed and the Government has made a decision on the implementation of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) shark protection measures. The changes will come into effect on 20 December 2015.

The Government's decision letter provides the details of the decision and the reasons for it. Further information can be found in the decision document.

In summary, the changes will implement additional measures aimed at minimising the impacts of commercial fishing on sharks. The agreed conservation and management measures (CMM 2014-5) require that members ensure that their longline vessels targeting tuna or billfish comply with at least one of the following options:

a) do not use or carry wire traces as branch lines or leaders
b) do not use branch lines running directly off the longline floats or drop lines, known as shark lines.

To implement CMM 2014-5, the Government has banned the use of wire traces and shark lines by commercial fishers by amending the Fisheries (Commercial Fishing) Regulations 2001.

Also in the decision letter

Background to consultation

New Zealand has recently agreed to additional measures to minimise the impacts of commercial fishing on shark populations as part of discussions held at the WCPFC. MPI sought feedback from tangata whenua and stakeholders on proposed changes to implement the shark protection measures. Consultation ran from 20 April 2015 to the 18 May 2015.

The proposal

During the last meeting, WCPFC members agreed to implement additional measures aimed at minimising the impacts of commercial fishing on sharks. The agreed conservation and management measures (CMM 2014-5) require that members ensure that their longline vessels targeting tuna or billfish comply with at least one of the following options:

a) do not use or carry wire traces as branch lines or leaders; or

b) do not use branch lines running directly off the longline floats or drop lines, known as shark lines.

To implement CMM 2014-5, MPI is proposing that the use of wire traces and shark lines by commercial fishers be banned by amending the Fisheries (Commercial Fishing) Regulations 2001.

Consultation document

How to make a submission

Consultation on the Implementation of WCPFC measures on shark conservation is open until 18 May 2015.

You can send your submission to MPI by email or post.

Email: dominic.vallieres@mpi.govt.nz

Post:
Highly Migratory Species Team
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6011

Note that your submission is public information. Submissions may be the subject of requests for information under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA specifies that information is to be made available to requesters unless there are sufficient grounds for withholding it, as set out in the OIA. Submitters may wish to indicate grounds for withholding specific information contained in their submission, such as the information is commercially sensitive or they wish personal information to be withheld. Any decision to withhold information requested under the OIA is reviewable by the Ombudsman.

 

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