A new draft plan for the long-term management of the important Snapper 1 (SNA1) fishery has been released today.
The plan was devised by the SNA1 Strategy Group, comprising customary, recreational and commercial fishers.
The independent chair of the group, Sir Ian Barker QC, says there is already evidence of substantial rebuilding of abundance in the fishery, which stretches from East Cape to the top of the North Island.
"This plan will help ensure that we build on those good foundations together. It has been very pleasing to see all sectors working together on the shared goal of rebuilding and protecting one of the most popular and valuable fisheries in New Zealand."
The draft Plan sets out a series of recommendations for managing the fishery, which includes Bay of Plenty, the Hauraki Gulf and the eastern coast of Northland.
The draft plan has a strong focus on improving fishing practices, minimising waste, and gathering accurate information. The recommendations include:
- Aiming to achieve a biomass target of 40% of the unfished state by 2040, with an intermediate checkpoint of 30% by 2025
- Undertaking a snapper tagging survey to estimate biomass, which begins later this year
- Regular monitoring of the status of the fishery to ensure it is on course to reach targets and timeframes
- Educating all fishers on ways to avoid catching juvenile fish and increasing survival rates of released snapper
- Regular monitoring and analysis of catch levels by all sectors.
"It is the first time a joint approach like this has been taken by all the users of this important fishery – customary, recreational and commercial.
"The plan is about maximising the benefits for everyone, and the only way to do that is to work together constructively.
"Establishing this SNA1 Strategy Group was an important part of the changes the Minister announced in 2013 to continue the rebuild of the Snapper 1 stock for future generations. These changes followed extensive formal consultation on the fishery.
"I'd encourage interested people to go to MPI's website to read the plan. The plan will also be available on the websites of the sectors represented by the Group. We will be hosting drop-in sessions in the snapper one area in September. This will be a chance for people to see the recommendations in detail and talk to the people who developed them.
"Following this engagement, the Group will review the recommendations and put advice to the Minister to consider in future decision making."
Read about the plan and drop-in sessions
Download the Snapper (SNA1) Management Plan [PDF, 4 MB]