New fisheries research projects planned for 2019-2020

Media contact: MPI media team

Fisheries New Zealand has announced its fisheries research proposals for the coming year.

Manager Fisheries Science Dr Rich Ford says research is critical to managing New Zealand’s fisheries in a sustainable way.

“Scientific data is the backbone of New Zealand’s fisheries management system - we spend about $22 million on research each year.

“We run an annual process to prioritise our fisheries research based on the needs of fisheries management plans, Threat Management Plans, National Plans of Action and any new issues or trends that emerge in New Zealand’s fisheries.

“This research is used to support stock assessments and assessments of environmental impacts that feed into the Quota Management System, which is used to manage fisheries sustainably.

“These 63 projects will add to a wide range of ongoing fisheries projects covering research on recreational fishing issues, inshore fish stocks, and the environmental impacts of fishing, among other things.

“Fisheries New Zealand has over 30 years of scientific research material on fisheries, which we are continuously adding to and gaining further insight into the marine environment.

“Many of Fisheries New Zealand’s projects are multi-year projects and there can be up to 200 projects in progress at any one time,” Dr Ford says.

Proposed project spending for the year includes: 

  • $3.3 million on inshore finfish fishery projects, alongside $1.1m on inshore shellfish fisheries.
  • $1 million has been set aside for rock lobster stock assessments to gain an understanding of the biomass of rock lobsters across fisheries in New Zealand.
  • $630,000 on Highly Migratory Species, including projects on Southern Bluefin Tuna, striped marlin and swordfish.
  • $2.3 million on aquatic environment research, with projects ranging from black petrel population monitoring to a trialling of an underwater baitsetter.
  • $1.1 million on Marine biodiversity research, including research into plastics and marine debris on the ocean floor in New Zealand waters.  

Research opportunities are advertised through the Government Electronic Tendering Service, which is open to everyone. Project decisions will be finalised later in the year following consultation with stakeholders, who fund roughly 60 per cent of the research through cost recovery.

All research undertaken must meet Fisheries New Zealand’s quality standards which are set out in the Research and Science Information Standard for New Zealand Fisheries.

To ensure that our fisheries science is accurate, robust, and fit for purpose, we have a strong peer review process for all research. 

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