Review of sustainability measures for 1 October 2020

Closing Date:
Contact: Fisheries management team

Have your say

Fisheries New Zealand seeks feedback from tangata whenua and stakeholders on proposed changes to the sustainability measures for a number of selected fish stocks or stock groupings.

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.

Legal overview of sustainability measures

Background to the proposals

The proposals for each 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 stocks with tangata whenua and stakeholder input.

Full details are in the consultation documents. A table with a summary of the proposed changes is on this web page.

Summary table of the proposals

Consultation documents

If you require hard copies of a document or any other information, email  

Related information – SNA7

Information sharing portal to support the review of Snapper (SNA7)

Making your submission

Fisheries New Zealand invites you to make a submission on the proposals set out in the consultation documents, using the submission form template.

Submission form [DOCX, 78 KB]

Once you have completed the form, email it to

While we prefer email, you can also post your submission to:

2020 Sustainability Review
Fisheries Management, Fisheries New Zealand
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

Submissions close at 5pm on Wednesday 1 July 2020. 

Summaries of the proposals

Stocks proposed to have the total allowable catch (TAC) reviewed or deemed value rates changed

[CPUE: Catch per unit effort]

SpeciesStock (area)Proposed changeRationale for review
Scampi SCI 1
(Auckland East)

The best available information indicates that the scampi stock in SCI 1 has increased in abundance and a utilisation opportunity now exists. The 2019 SCI 1 stock assessment estimates that the SCI 1 stock biomass has been increasing since 2010, and is very likely above the management target of 40% unfished biomass (B0). A TAC review was not prioritised for 1 October 2019, however, Fisheries New Zealand considers that there is an opportunity to increase utilisation of SCI 1 for the 2020/21 fishing year, whilst maintaining the status of the stock above the management target.
Orange roughy ORH 3B
(South East Chatham Rise, Southland and Sub-Antarctic)

The Minister committed in 2018 to a 3-year staged increase in the TAC and TACC for ORH 3B. Options include the third step in the staged increase and a larger increase indicated by an update to the stock assessment. The new update indicates the orange roughy biomass has continued to increase and a larger TAC and TACC increase than considered previously is likely to be sustainable.
Silver warehou SWA 3 and  4
(South East Coast and Chatham Rise)

The best available information, comprising CPUE and trawl survey information, indicates an increase in abundance for these stocks which may support an increase to TAC and TACCs for these stocks. The Catch Balancing Review Process recommended that the TAC of both stocks should be reviewed if supported by the information available.
Black cardinalfish CDL 5

Black cardinalfish in CDL 5 are taken as by-catch by trawl vessels targeting species such as white warehou or hake. Catches can occasionally occur in very large quantities, sometimes exceeding catch limits during a single fishing event. The TAC and TACC for CDL 5 are based on average annual catch over previous years. Taking a similar approach, Fisheries New Zealand is proposing an increase to the TAC and TACC based on annual catch over the most recent ten years.
Rubyfish RBY 4
(Chatham Rise)

Rubyfish in RBY 4 (Chatham Rise) are taken as by-catch by trawl vessels targeting species such as alfonsino, silver warehou and hoki. The TAC and TACC for RBY 4 are based on average annual catch over previous years. Consistent with previous approaches, Fisheries New Zealand is proposing to increase the TAC and TACC based on the most recent 5 years of catch.
Frostfish FRO 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9
(Chatham Rise, East Coast South Island, West Coast both islands)


Frostfish in the administrative areas FRO 3 and FRO 4 are considered to be a single biological stock. It is proposed to redistribute the TAC and TACC across FRO 3 and FRO 4 to better reflect stock distribution.

Frostfish in the administrative areas FRO 7, 8 and 9 are considered to be a single stock. It is proposed to redistribute the TAC and TACC across the 3 quota management areas FRO 7, 8 and FRO 9 to better reflect stock distribution.

Snapper and Gurnard SNA 7, GUR 7

The review of SNA 7 and GUR 7 is part 2 of the Top of the South mixed trawl review that started last year. The Minister committed to reviewing SNA 7 in 2020 based on the results of the new stock assessment information, which shows continued increase in abundance indices. Fisheries New Zealand is consulting on 3 options which differ in terms of the weight placed on the uncertainty associated with future yield estimates, and also with the over-estimation of recreational catch that occurred when the stock was last reviewed in 2016. Fisheries New Zealand invited all sectors to participate and contribute to the development of management options for snapper through a series of workshops, as part of this review. Workshop participants considered that an increase in the TAC and TACC and maintaining the current recreational allowance (option 3) would provide benefits in terms of the overall value of the fishery.

Gurnard catch continues to track above previous rates as a potential indicator of high abundance. The current stock status of gurnard, very likely (>90% probability) to be at or above target, and increasing catch trends suggest a potential utilisation opportunity for gurnard.

Gemfish SKI 1 and 2
(Auckland East and Central East)


Between 1997 and 2001 the TAC for both SKI 1 and SKI 2 was reduced by 81% following evidence of low abundance in the fishery. An updated CPUE analysis for both stocks in May 2020 indicates that abundance has increased and is likely to increase further over the next 5 years, suggesting that an increase to the TAC may be warranted. This is supported by reports of increasing commercial and recreational catch, and the options proposed aim to provide for use of both sectors amid increasing abundance. There is currently no recreational bag limit for SKI 1 and SKI 2 and as part of the consultation we are inviting initial feedback on whether Fisheries New Zealand should investigate introducing one as an additional management control to ensure sustainability in future years.
Geoduck PZL 7

PZL 7 is a developing fishery with high potential value. Biomass surveys indicate the fishery could sustain an increase in the TAC.
Due to the developing nature of this fishery there is uncertainty in how the stock will respond to fishing and the extent and nature of the environmental impact of the fishing method. The proposed options take this uncertainty into consideration.


KIN 2 and 3
(Central East)

For all kingfish stocks under review, Fisheries New Zealand considers the current TAC and allowances are likely to unnecessarily constrain use for all sectors and are imposing unnecessary costs on the commercial sector.

In KIN 2, the most recent CPUE analysis (2020) indicates that the abundance of juvenile kingfish was above average from 2013 to 2019. Estimates of total fishing mortality in 2016, also indicated total mortality was low, with fishing mortality below natural mortality and close to the default target, and that the stock is expected to increase in the short term.

(South East Coast, Southland and Sub-Antarctic)

In KIN 3, catch information suggests that there has been an increase in the abundance and it is likely that the observed increase in abundance will continue to be reflected in an increased kingfish by-catch by commercial fishers, and availability to non-commercial fishers.
KIN 7 and 8
Challenger, Auckland West and Central West)

In KIN 7 and KIN 8, the most recent CPUE analysis shows a continued biomass increase, with increased likelihood (>90%) of stock being at or above the target, with the stock expected to continue increasing at current catch levels.

To reflect the increased availability of kingfish to customary Māori, recreational and commercial fishers, Fisheries New Zealand proposes to increase the total allowable catch (TAC) of KIN 2, 3, 7 and 8, whilst broadly retaining the current proportional allocation of the TAC between sectors.

Blue cod BCO 5


Management objectives for blue cod are set out in the National Blue Cod Strategy, which prioritises research and assessment of BCO 5 — New Zealand’s largest blue cod fishery. A new stock assessment for BCO 5 suggests the stock is below the management target of 40% B0. Options are proposed to move the stock towards the management target. The recreational allowance is also adjusted in line with new, more reliable, estimates of recreational catch.
Pōrae POR 1
Auckland West)

Pōrae in POR 1 was historically caught in set net fisheries, however, is now predominantly taken as a by-catch of inshore trawl fishing, particularly on the east coast of the northern North Island. POR 1 is a low knowledge stock, with trends in commercial catch the only information available to monitor the fishery and assess fishery performance. Based on commercial catch trends, there may be an opportunity to provide for utilisation by making a modest increase to the TAC, TACC, and allowances. Pōrae is also a popular recreational fish species, seen as a welcome by-catch for anglers and an opportunistic target for spearfishers. The proposed option for change includes an increase in the allowance for recreational fishing to account for recent estimates of recreational take.
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Rig SPO 2
(Central East)

The most recent CPUE analysis (2019) of SPO 2 shows that the biomass has increased strongly since 2009 and is estimated to have more than doubled over the period from 2009 to 2017, with a slight dip in the last 2 years. This, coupled with relative fishing pressure being low, suggests that there exists potential for greater utilisation of rig in SPO 2. Therefore, a small increase to the TAC and TACC is considered appropriate, and 2 options are proposed to reflect the increase in biomass.
Sea perch SPE 9
(Auckland West)

Sea perch in SPE 9 is caught mostly as by-catch across all sectors and is seldom targeted. Commercial fishers are responsible for the majority of catch. The catch limits and allowances for SPE 9 have not been reviewed since its introduction into the QMS in 1998. The TACC for SPE 9 is low, set at 6 tonnes, and has been over caught for 4 of the last 5 fishing years. The adjacent quota management areas, SPE 1 and SPE 8, have much higher TACCs of 53 tonnes and 15 tonnes respectively. There may be an opportunity to provide for increased utilisation by making a small increase to the SPE 9 TACC, based on the increasing trend in catch.
South east coast multi-species GUR 3, LEA 3, MOK 3,

The abundance of stocks in the east coast of the South Island mixed trawl fishery (Quota Management Area 3) is monitored by biennial trawl surveys. These surveys, along with catch and other information from the fishery, suggest the abundance of blue moki, leatherjacket, gurnard, and rig has increased and that there may be an opportunity for increased utilisation.
Stargazer STA 7 (West Coast South Island)

Stargazer in Quota Management Area 7 (STA 7) is predominantly a by-catch fishery on the West Coast of the South Island. The stock status for STA 7 is about as likely as not to be at or above target and is projected to remain so at the current levels of catch. The recent (2019) West Coast South Island trawl survey shows biomass indices are close to the highest level in the series, suggesting abundance is high and an opportunity for a modest increase in utilisation.
Stocks proposed for deemed value rate changes
Arrow squid SQU 6T, SQU 1J, SQU 1T

Increase in deemed value rates proposed to reflect the recent increase in the landed price of squid.
Bluenose BNS 3

Deemed value rates for BNS 3 currently set at the same level as the adjacent BNS 2 stock. As the economic and fishery characteristics differ between the stocks, a decrease to the deemed value rates of BNS 3 is proposed.



Increase to the deemed value rates proposed, as current rates not providing sufficient incentive for fishers to remain within the available annual catch entitlement (ACE).

Adjustment to the differential schedule proposed as the current stringent differential schedule may not be appropriate for a stock taken primarily as by-catch.

The decision to increase SKI 7 TACC from 1 October 2019 not given effect due to court injunction regarding ‘28N’ rights. Adjustment to the differential schedule proposed to reduce the financial costs incurred by fishers as a result of ongoing court proceedings.
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Pilchard PIL 7, PIL 8

Decrease to the deemed value rates proposed, as current rates set above the landed price.
Redbait RBT 3

Increase to the deemed value rates proposed, as current rates not providing sufficient incentive for fishers to remain within the available ACE.
Trevally TRE 2

Adjustment to the differential schedule proposed as the current stringent differential schedule may not be appropriate for a stock taken primarily as by-catch.

Legal overview

Our Legal overview of sustainability measures provides the main legal requirements as they relate to decision-making on sustainability measures. It also references the relevant provisions in the Fisheries Act 1996.

Legal overview of sustainability measures [PDF, 149 KB]

Fisheries Act 1996 – NZ Legislation

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Related information

Submissions are public information

Submissions made become public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have a good reason for withholding it. That is explained in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in any submissions you have made. Reasons might include that it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it. 


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