Category Archives: Press Release

Another orange roughy success story

An orange roughy fishery south of Stewart Island has been given the green light to reopen after 19 years.

In 1998, the seafood industry agreed to cease fishing in the ORH3B Puysegur area to rest the fishery to allow stocks to rebuild. Over the past 19 years the industry... Read more

Update on IEMRS

Progress is being made with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) towards the considered and staged implementation of Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System (IEMRS). MPI’s high level objectives - to verify self-reporting of catches, to collect more information on catches, and to do so electronically - are supported by Fisheries Inshore New Zealand (FINZ) and...
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Seabird Smart Award winners announced

A fleet of West Coast surface long liners has been awarded the 2017 Seabird Smart Award. Altair Fishing Ltd was crowned for their commitment to seabird mitigation across their five vessels. Chair of the Southern Seabird Solutions Trust Bill Mansfield said “the vessels all use bird scaring lines, set their fishing lines at night, add weights to...
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Orange roughy biomass surveys completed

[caption id="attachment_5853" align="alignnone" width="604"] New Zealand orange roughy[/caption] Two acoustic biomass surveys of orange roughy were successfully completed in June-July 2017. These surveys were the result of a collaborative effort between government, scientists and industry. The two surveys were approved by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and designed by New...
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Seafood assurance programme launched

The New Zealand seafood industry now has a one-stop source for information. OpenSeas is a third-party verified, broad-based transparency initiative designed to enable customers of New Zealand seafood, primarily international customers, a single, comprehensive source of information about the environmental, social and production credentials of the New Zealand seafood industry. Read more

Collaborative conservation a success at seafood conference

Collaborative conservation was high on the agenda at the New Zealand Seafood Industry conference in Wellington last week. Speakers noted the success of the ongoing work between fishers, iwi, scientists, conservation groups and government to protect the marine environment and its wildlife. Department of Conservation Director-General Lou Sanson said New Zealanders have a strong connection to our...
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A new report from economic researchers BERL has confirmed the importance of the commercial fishing industry to New Zealand. The report, The economic contribution of commercial fishing to the New Zealand economy, shows commercial fishing is worth $4.18 billion to the New Zealand economy. Chief executive of Fisheries Inshore New Zealand, Dr Jeremy Helson, said exports alone...
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One stop source for New Zealand seafood information launched

A one-stop source for information on New Zealand seafood was launched at the New Zealand Seafood Industry conference in Wellington today. OpenSeas is a third-party verified, broad-based transparency initiative designed to enable customers of New Zealand seafood, primarily international customers, a single, comprehensive source of information about the environmental, social... Read more

Seafood exports set to top $2 billion

Seafood exports are predicted to hit a record $2 billion annually by 2020.

That is according to the Ministry for Primary Industries 2017 Situation and Outlook report.

Export revenue for the year to June 2017 is expected to be $1.8 billion, broadly in line with last year,... Read more

Smart management to pay off for fishers

After nearly 20 years of closure by industry, another orange roughy stock, this time off the bottom of the South Island, is about to be re-opened to fishing. The catch limit for the orange roughy Puysegur stock, a sub-stock of ORH 3B, has a proposed increase from 150...
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Deepwater Group welcomes New Zealand Sea Lion Threat Management Plan

The Deepwater Group, which represents New Zealand’s deepwater fishing sector, welcomes the New Zealand Sea Lion Threat Management Plan released today by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

This new Plan is based on a comprehensive risk assessment of the threats to... Read more

More breeding albatrosses at remote Snares Islands

An annual southern Buller's albatross census on the Snares Islands has been successful with more breeding pairs counted and banded. These remote islands, 120 km south of Stewart Island, are home to the main breeding grounds for this endemic albatross. The survey was undertaken by scientist Paul Sagar, who like many...
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Seafood industry welcomes funding for endangered sea lions

The announcement today that the Government will contribute $2.8 million over four years to fund further research into the mortality of sea lions has been welcomed by the seafood industry.

Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister, Maggie Barry made the announcement a short time ago, and acknowledged the fishing...

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International fisheries scientists meet in Nelson to share world-leading ideas

Press release: Deepwater Group Ltd, 3 April 2017 Scientists from more than 20 countries are meeting in Nelson this week for an international conference to discuss the latest advances in fisheries technology. This is the first time the global organisation ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) has held a conference in New Zealand and...
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Seafood industry funds conservation expedition to Snares Islands

Press release: Deepwater Group Ltd, 31 March 2017 A science expedition led by Paul Sagar is setting off to the Snares Islands for an annual survey of Southern Buller’s albatross, and while there also collecting Skua seabird poo for the Department of Conservation (DOC). The endemic Southern Buller’s albatross is unusual among albatrosses in that it breeds...
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Sustainable New Zealand Seafood Promoted

Press release: Deepwater Group Ltd, 31 March 2017 Australians are being told to choose New Zealand seafood on Sustainable Seafood Day, which will be celebrated on 31 March throughout Australia. This is because over 50% of New Zealand’s wild catch is now certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. Sustainable Seafood Day is an annual initiative...
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Deepwater Group welcomes Kermadec research

Press release: Deepwater Group Ltd, 16 February 2017 The discoveries of new species made by NIWA on a 20-day scientific voyage to the remote Kermadec region have been welcomed by deep sea fishers, who encourage further scientific exploration of this vast untouched ocean northeast of New Zealand.
George Clement, Chief Executive of Deepwater...
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Orange roughy fisheries certified as sustainable

Press Release: 9 December 2016, Minister Nathan Guy and Ministry for Primary Industries Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed certification of several orange roughy fisheries by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). “This is a great success and recognition for a fishery that was in real trouble in the early 1990s,” says Mr Guy. “A huge amount of...
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NGO declares: ‘the MSC officially became a sham’

Press Release: Intrafish Media

A group of NGOs is coming out against the new Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of the New Zealand orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) fishery.

Around 60 percent of the total catch of New Zealand’s orange roughy achieved certification in December for sustainable fishing practices, and is now eligible to carry...

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New Zealand Orange Roughy Gets Top International Sustainability Tick

Press Release: Seafood New Zealand and Deepwater Group, December 9, 2016

New Zealand’s three largest orange roughy fisheries have been certified as meeting the international gold standard for sustainable fishing by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)  (MSC release). 

This achievement further demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to sustainable fisheries management, Deepwater...

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Sanford’s Move From Volume to Value Helps Boost Profit 152%

Press Release: Sanford Limited Sanford Limited (NZX:SAN) has today posted a 152% increase in net profit after tax to $34.7m for the year ended 30 September. The Group posted an 85.5% increase in reported EBIT to $57.7m, with revenue up $13.2m to $463.5m. Sanford CEO, Volker Kuntzsch said it’s a pleasing result after a year of focus across...
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The Seafood Industry Supports Huge Antarctic Marine Reserve

ross-sea-mpa The declaration of the Ross Sea marine reserve demonstrates protection, conservation, and sustainable commercial fishing can go hand in hand. Agreement to progress with the world’s largest marine reserve, spanning 1.55 million square kilometres of Antarctic waters, was announced last week. Final details are still to be...
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Revolutionary new trawling method improves quality of catch

A revolutionary new sustainable trawling method is showing great potential for increasing the value of New Zealand’s fisheries by more than $43 million per year by 2025, industry leaders heard in Wellington today. The Precision Seafood Harvesting (PSH) technology known as a Modular Harvest System (MHS) is a potential replacement for traditional fishing methods. Using...
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Seizing the global opportunities for New Zealand seafood

The growing global demand for environmentally sustainable, natural, healthy food offers great opportunities for the New Zealand seafood industry, Seafood New Zealand Chairman George Clement says. Speaking at the New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference in Wellington today, Mr Clement referred to the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) prediction that global food production will need to increase...
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Government to review fisheries management

The Government has embarked on an operational review of New Zealand's fisheries management, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced today. Speaking to 250 delegates at the Seafood New Zealand annual conference in Wellington, Guy said it could result in changes to management and regulations and to the Fisheries Act. "It's high-level, we won't be getting into the detail...
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New Zealand fish stocks performing well

New Zealand’s fisheries are performing well overall, Dr Pamela Mace, the Principal Advisor Fisheries Science, with the Ministry for Primary Industries said today. She was providing an update on the status of New Zealand’s marine fisheries at the New Zealand Seafood Industry conference. “New Zealand’s fisheries are performing extremely well overall, at least as good as or...
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New Zealand steps up support for international shark conservation

New Zealand has boosted the protection of sharks by signing the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry have signed the agreement today which aims to improve the conservation of seven migratory shark species vulnerable to over-exploitation. “This international memorandum is the first global...
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Scientists probe complex causes of NZ sea lion decline

A tiny community of New Zealand sea lions on the Otago Peninsula is helping scientists solve the mystery of why some populations are doing better than others. There are thought to be only 10,000 New Zealand sea lions left, and pup production at the main breeding population in the Auckland Islands has declined by half since...
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Talley’s trawler to assess orange roughy stocks

Talley’s Amaltal Explorer embarks from Nelson tomorrow with leading edge technology on board to assess orange roughy stocks off the West Coast and bottom of the South Island. The two areas to be surveyed have been closed to orange roughy fishing since 1998 to encourage numbers to rebuild to a healthy and optimum level. These surveys will...
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Seafood industry supports efforts to save Auckland Islands’ sea lions

The seafood industry actively supports measures to conserve the Auckland Islands sea lion, Seafood New Zealand Chairman George Clement says. His comments follow the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) upgrading the sea lions’ status from vulnerable to endangered. “The decline in the sea lion population at the Auckland Islands has been a cause of concern...
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MSC sustainable seafood

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) today celebrated 15 years of MSC certified seafood and recognised the ‘leaders for living oceans’ that are driving growth and success in the sustainable seafood market. MSC certified fisheries now catch 8.8 million tonnes of MSC certified seafood per year, accounting for close to 10% of the total global wild-capture. With...
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The New Zealand Seafood Industry has lost a titan

The New Zealand seafood industry has lost a titan with the death of Philip Vela. “Philip Vela was an early pioneer in the development of the hoki, orange roughy, tuna and squid fisheries. He continued to be a major player and innovator in New Zealand fisheries – a business where only the strongest of the strong...
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Sustainability is a ‘must-have,’ says MSC

Fifteen years ago, when the world’s first fishery earned Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, sustainability in seafood was a relatively new concept. Then it became a buzzword. Today, “guaranteed sustainability is a requirement,” said Nicolas Guichoux, MSC global commercial director. “All of that happened because some companies decided that sustainability, like price and quality, was a...
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NZ orange roughy exports accelerate as fish stocks recover

New Zealand orange roughy exports are accelerating as catch limits of the deepwater fish, once a poster child for bad fisheries management, increase amid confidence about improving stocks. Exports of the slow-growing fish, which can live for up to 130 years, rose 6.9 percent to a three-year high of $36.5 million last year, according to Statistics...
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The seafood industry applauded the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) decision to turn down Chatham Rock Phosphate’s (CRP) application to mine the Chatham Rise area, a key fishing ground for New Zealand. “The EPA’s decision recognises that seabed mining is a relatively new industry which has many uncertainties, and that this was a risk not worth taking...
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EPA refuses marine consent application by Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has refused an application by Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited (CRP) for a marine consent to mine phosphorite nodules on the Chatham Rise.

The decision, which was made by a Decision-making Committee (DMC) appointed by the EPA Board, was released this morning.

EPA General Manager Applications & Assessment Sarah Gardner...

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NZ orange roughy fishery seeks 3rd party sustainability certification

Three of New Zealand's orange roughy fisheries have entered the lengthy and rigorous Marine Stewardship Council sustainability assessment process. New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industry and the industry association the Deepwater Group have been working together for the past ten years to better manage and rebuild the orange roughy stocks, and are now looking to measure...
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New Zealand’s fish stocks in healthy state heading into 2015

Consumers can look forward to plenty of tasty and nutritious seafood this year with New Zealand fish stocks in good shape. “The status of our stocks over the 2014 year showed some marked improvements according to the Ministry for Primary Industries figures and point to the conclusion that ‘by far the majority of New Zealand’s fisheries...
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Seafood New Zealand is encouraging New Zealanders to put our sustainable seafood on their tables this Christmas. Kaimoana is a massive part of New Zealand tradition, and our seafood comes from one of the best fisheries management systems in the world. “Families looking to fill their plates with fresh and healthy local produce this Christmas cannot go...
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Closure of hearing on Chatham Rock Phosphate application

The hearing on the marine consent application by Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd (CRP) has been closed by the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) Decision-making Committee. The Committee now has 20 working days to make its decision. Due to the Christmas period, a decision is expected to be made early next year. The hearing was adjourned by the Committee...
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Primary industry export forecasts revised

Dairy export revenue will be down this year, but the drop will be partly offset by better-than-expected growth in other primary sectors, according to revised forecasts from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). MPI released today a mid-year update on forecasts from its Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries 2014 (SOPI 2014), which was released in...
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Free Trade Agreement with Korea disappointing for New Zealand seafood

The so-called free trade deal with Korea excludes frozen squid, which will continue to suffer a 22 percent tariff. The FTA announced by Prime Minister John Key at the weekend is overall disappointing for seafood, according to Seafood New Zealand chief executive Tim Pankhurst. “While there are some improved trading conditions for some seafood in the first...
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Seafood Important for Growing Minds and Bodies

It pays not to shy away from seafood when pregnant, with some seafood providing health benefits to both expectant mums and their babies. Prioritising higher fish consumption in pregnant women and young children is among the key dietary recommendations of the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Committee on World Food Security. (The FAO Committee on World...
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The seafood industry is backing seabird protection. Seafood New Zealand today welcomed the collaborative efforts of the Black Petrel Working Group to develop means of reducing the risk to this threatened seabird from fishing. “Our industry sees real value in collaborating with organisations to find long-term and effective solutions in how we protect marine wildlife, including seabirds,”...
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Fishing Innovation Recognised

Precision Seafood Harvesting (PSH), a revolutionary fishing method, was presented with the Supreme New Zealand Innovator award, chosen from all categories and given to the best overall entry. PSH also won the Innovation in Sustainability and Clean Tech award. Idealog People’s Choice was awarded to Snap Information Technologies, who have developed an integrated video observation unit...
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Nathan Guy Welcomed Back by Seafood Industry

Seafood New Zealand welcomes the return of Hon Nathan Guy as Minister for Primary Industries. Seafood chief executive, Tim Pankhurst, congratulated Minister Guy on his appointment which was announced by the Prime Minister this morning. “We have developed a very good working relationship with Mr Guy and look forward to meeting him soon to update him on...
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NZ hake and ling receives sustainable seafood tick from MSC

Global sustainable seafood certifier, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has officially certified New Zealand hake and ling as sustainable seafood. The two species now join New Zealand hoki, albacore and southern blue whiting as sustainable varieties under the MSC’s strict criteria. As only nine percent of the world’s fish harvest is certified as sustainable, MSC manger Australia...
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Taking hoki up a notch

Hoki is one of the cheapest seafood options available at the counter, and with about 150,000 tonnes earmarked to be caught this year, it is also one of the most readily available. But Kiwi palates have grown up on inshore fish like snapper and tarakihi, which is much easier to access than the deep-sea hoki, lurking...
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EPA negative on miner’s application

The Environmental Protection Authority's initial view on Chatham Rock Phosphate's application for a marine consent to mine is decidedly negative. The company's shares plummeted as much as 60 percent to just 8 cents yesterday before recovering to close at 15 cents, down 5 cents. The EPA says its staff can't recommend the company application to mine phosphate...
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Fishing groups reject phosphate mining

Chatham Rock Phosphate has applied for marine consent to mine phosphate 450 kilometres east of Christchurch. Iwi in the rohe - Ngai Tahu, Ngati Mutunga O Wharekauri and the Hokotehi Moriori Trust - have said if the mining is approved, it would have a destructive effect on an important breeding ground and on commercial fish species. Ngati...
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Shark finning to be banned from 1 October

A ban on the finning of all shark species within New Zealand waters will take effect from 1 October this year, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced today. “Implementing this ban has happened much faster than originally proposed. It reinforces New Zealand’s strong international reputation for sustainability and protecting our...
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Increases for fish stocks show success of QMS

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced increases to catch limits for a range of New Zealand fisheries today, thanks to healthy stock levels. “This shows the success of our world-leading Quota Management System (QMS). It is flexible and driven by science, which means that we can increase take as stock levels improve,” Mr Guy...
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Quota increases recognise sustainable species

Sealord has welcomed the Minister of Primary Industries announcement about increased hoki and orange roughy quota a vote of confidence for the sustainability of these fisheries and work to ensure world class science and research is available.Quota increases recognise sustainable species Sealord has welcomed the Minister of Primary Industries’ announcement about increased hoki and orange roughy...
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The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery. An increase in the hoki catch, from 150,000 tonnes to 160,000 tonnes, was announced at the Seafood Industry Conference in Wellington today by the Minister...
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Our Seafood the Best in the World

The Prime Minister John Key called New Zealand’s seafood ‘the best in the world’ in opening the Seafood Industry Conference in Wellington today. John Key said he’s travelled all over the world and eaten seafood in all sorts of places, but ‘without doubt New Zealand produces the best and I’ll challenge anyone to show...
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Toothfish Ordered by Tim Groser was Sustainable

Facts on the toothfish ordered by Trade Minister Tim Groser in Singapore are now clear. This fish was not ‘protected’, nor was it sourced from Antarctica as previous media stories have incorrectly asserted. This toothfish was sourced from the Heard Island and McDonald Islands fishery, which is certified as ecologically sustainable by the Marine Stewardship...
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Seafood Industry Remains Concerned on Chatham Rise

The seafood industry today welcomed new developments with Chatham Rock Phosphate’s (CRP) application to mine the Chatham Rise area, a key fishing ground for New Zealand. “We’re very pleased that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has asked CRP for a lot more information on the adverse environmental effects of their proposal to mine large areas on...
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Report Queries Uranium Impact

A Crown report says there could be a long-term build up of uranium in farmlands from using phosphate mined from the Chatham Rise. But the company proposing the sea-bed mining, Chatham Rock Phosphate, says the uranium content is not a health hazard and is little different from that in Moroccan products already used here. The Crown has...
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Health Concerns Over Phosphate Mining Project

The Government’s concerned a huge phosphate mining project proposed for the Chatham Rise, off the country’s east coast, could contaminate our food. Chatham Rock Phosphate’s applying for consent to mine the mineral for fertiliser. In its submission to the Environmental Protection Authority, the Crown says there are high levels of uranium in the phosphate the company wants...
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Risk to No-Nuke Status Alleged

Uranium in phosphate nodules that Chatham Rock Phosphate intends to mine could threaten New Zealand's nuclear-free reputation, the seafood industry has told the Government. But the Golden Bay-based miner says the uranium is "incidental" and Conservation Minister Nick Smith agrees, saying it is a side issue. Deepwater Group chairman Chris Horton wrote to Smith and the ministers...
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Seafood Industry Claims Uranium Threat

Uranium in phosphate nodules that Chatham Rock Phosphate intends to mine could threaten New Zealand's nuclear-free reputation, the seafood industry has told the Government. But the Golden Bay-based miner says the uranium is "incidental" and Conservation Minister Nick Smith agrees, saying it is a side issue. Deepwater Group chairman Chris Horton wrote to Smith and the ministers...
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Deepwater Confident of Meeting Ling Fisheries Conditions

The main New Zealand ling fisheries have been assessed as meeting the high sustainability standards set by the international Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Ten ling fisheries have been assessed and these are part of the 29 New Zealand fisheries that are either already certified as meeting the MSC standards or are in the processes of becoming...
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Minister Commends Conservation Teamwork

Practical moves by fishermen will make more of a difference to protecting New Zealand's sea birds than any answers scientists or conservationists may come up with, Conservation Minister Nick Smith says. Dr Smith made the comments at the launch of Sharing Worlds - Seabirds and Fishing DVD by the Southern Seabird Solutions Trust at the Taiaroa...
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Seafood Industry and Conservation Groups to Protect Seabirds

The New Zealand seafood industry congratulated Southern Seabird Solution Trust’s on its short film “Sharing Worlds, Seabirds and Fishing” which was launched today by the Hon Nick Smith, the Minister of Conservation at the Royal Albatross Centre on the Otago Peninsula. The film highlights Otago fishing and conservation working together for the benefit of seabirds like...
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Fisheries Fight ‘Strip Mining’ Bid

The seafood industry has weighed in with a strong submission against Golden Bay-based Chatham Rock Phosphate's application to suction-mine the Chatham Rise. Submissions to the Environmental Protection Authority closed yesterday, with the Deepwater Group, representing 95 per cent of fish quota beyond coastal waters, saying the mining would have "significant and irreversible adverse effects on the...
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Seafood Industry Strongly Opposed to CRP Mining Application

Seafood Industry Strongly Opposed to CRP Mining Application for Chatham Rise The seafood industry strongly opposes Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine the Chatham Rise, saying it will have “significant and irreversible adverse effects on the marine environment.” In its submission to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) the Deepwater Group says the environmental impacts of mining will...
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Seeing What Lies Beneath: Skippers Can See Into The Depths

A Nelson-based Sealord trawler was setting off today on a trip to test technology that will show skippers what's happening on the ocean floor as it unfolds beneath them. The company, which has invested $400,000 in this part of the project, says the result will be "smart trawling" with a reduction in impacts on the seabed...
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New Zealand Seafood Industry Welcomes EPA

The New Zealand seafood industry welcomes the Environmental Protection Authority’s decision to decline Trans-Tasman Resources’ (TTR) application to mine the South Taranaki Bight. Seafood New Zealand chairman, George Clement says the decision was the right one given concerns about the impact of mining activity on New Zealand’s fisheries. “Our fisheries are an important and valuable resource, and...
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Hilborn Tells Ocean Summit Alaska and NZ Have Never Had ‘Overfishing Pressure’ Under Modern Mgt

John Kerry's Ocean summit opened in Washington yesterday with leaders from about 80 countries in attendence.  The conference is designed to elevate the issue of marine protection in three areas: sustainable fishing, action on marine pollution, and action on ocean acidification. Coinciding with the conference President Obama expanded the central pacific marine sanctuary by excutive order;...
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Fishers Urged to Help Keep Seabirds Safe

A Nelson fisheries specialist who has worked with the commercial industry to reduce the risk of seabirds getting caught wants recreational fishers to follow suit. Richard Wells, a specialist with non-profit fisheries management organisation the DeepWater Group, said there were ways of reducing the risk of snaring a seabird, and methods for safely releasing birds that...
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Washington Ocean Summit Told Of New Zealand’s Sustainable Fishing

New Zealand’s fisheries management has been cited overnight (3am 17th June NZT) at the international Our Ocean Summit in Washington DC as an example of how best to fish sustainably.   Professor Ray Hilborn, Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, has specifically identified “Alaska and New Zealand [who] have...
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Seafood Industry ‘Needs a Touch-Up’

The country's $1.6 billion-a-year seafood industry is a really well-painted house, the new chair of Seafood New Zealand says. But the missed corners now need filling-in, with scientific improvements, public perceptions and creating a vibrant industry on top of the agenda. George Clement was elected as the industry body's executive chairman last month, and was formally welcomed...
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Push for Hake to Gain Standard

The Maori economy will grow if deepsea fish hake gains a sustainable species standard, 50 percent iwi-owned fishing company Sealord says. The New Zealand hake has received a glowing report from the Marine Stewardship Council, saying the fish is well managed, with healthy fish stocks, which are harvested with minimal environmental impact. The council's report has to...
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$16m export fish gets top sustainability marks

New Zealand hake, a small but growing white fish export to Spain, China and Japan, has received a glowing report in an independent assessment, taking it one step closer to achieving certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The MSC holds the world’s best standards for sustainably managed fisheries. Its assessment process, which is transparent and...
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MSC welcomes New Zealand orange roughy’s brave move to enter assessment

Three of New Zealand’s orange roughy fisheries have entered the lengthy and rigorous assessment process to be measured against the world’s most credible standard for sustainable fishing.   “A Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment is a highly transparent and meticulous process and I applaud any fishery that puts themselves under the microscope and scrutiny of the full...
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Call for seabed ‘legal anomalies’ to be resolved

The seafood industry wants the Environmental Protection Authority to defer any consideration on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine the Chatham Rise, until the legal anomalies of New Zealand’s Benthic Protected Areas are resolved. Chatham Rock Phosphate (CRP) has just submitted its marine consent application with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to mine in a Benthic...
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Mine bid ‘a risk to ecology’

Chatham Rock Phosphate, the small Golden Bay-based company with big seabed mining ideas, has submitted its formal marine consent application to vacuum up phosphate nodules from the Chatham Rise. With a plan that the seafood industry warns could have a dramatic effect on deepwater fishing, the company intends to use a giant Dutch ship to suck...
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Southern blue whiting fish stocks in good health

21 March, 2014 The Deepwater Group today welcomed the Minister for Primary Industries’ decision to raise the catch limit in the main southern blue whiting fishery near Campbell Island from 30,000 tonnes to 40,0000 tonnes. “This is the main southern blue whiting fishery and the very healthy state of the stock means that we...
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Deepwater Group supports sub-Antarctic marine reserves

The Deepwater Group is backing the three new Marine Reserves around the Sub-Antarctic island groups of Campbell, Bounty and Antipodies. Deepwater Group represents the fishing fleets which operate in the Southern Ocean.  These islands are listed as world heritage sites and were designated nature reserves in 1954. Deepwater CEO, George Clement, says these Marine Reserves, in which...
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Squid fishery decision reflects new research

PRESS RELEASE BY NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT AT 2:22PM, 02 AUG 2012 Primary Industries Minister David Carter says updated scientific research has played a key part in his decision on management measures for the Auckland Islands squid trawl fishery (SQU6T). Mr Carter today announced the maximum number of accidental fishing related sea lion deaths for the 2012/13 fishing...
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Search for sea lion answers continues

The reason for the decline of the sea lion pup population on the Auckland Islands needs to be identified before a solution can be found, the New Zealand seafood industry says.

The Deepwater Group has welcomed the Minister for Primary Industries, David Carter’s statement today recognising squid fishing is not responsible for the sea lion population decline.

The Deepwater Group chief executive George Clement says the seafood industry fully backs the management measures in the squid fishery to protect sea lions from harm and the research to protect an important part of New Zealand’s unique biodiversity in the Southern Ocean.

“We support the Minister’s call for the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation to gather information on non-fishing-related impact, to determine the reason for a declining sea lion population,” George Clement says.

“We know that introduced diseases have decimated the sea lion colonies in these remote sub Antarctic islands in the past.  The pups are especially vulnerable.  Based on the numbers of sea lions found with wounds from shark bites, and the high juvenile mortality, we also need to assess the effects of predation by great white sharks.”

“Similar studies on sea lions overseas have identified a disease and predator double hit. The sub Antarctic is a hostile environment with many threats.  Declines have also occurred with elephant seals and penguins round the Campbell Islands, where there is no squid fishing.  New Zealand and international scientists have been trying to find the reasons for the changes in these populations for many years, but the real causes have yet to be identified.

George Clement said it was clear from New Zealand and international research in the Auckland Islands, that there are broader environmental, probably non-human, drivers at play, which need to be understood.  He says David Carter’s commitment today (2 Aug Eds) to more government research into ‘disease and ecosystem changes’ reflects this.

“Our industry has gone to great lengths to ensure fishing does not harm the sea lions.  We have refined sea lion exclusion devices (SLEDs), which allow sea lions to escape fishing nets alive and unharmed.  This has been a major achievement and this is why the Government has been able to say no sea lions have been accidently captured in this fishery in the past two seasons,” George Clement says.

“Every fishing vessel that has worked in the squid fishery near the Auckland Islands for the past five or six years has used SLEDs.  Many vessels carry Government observers to make sure they stay within the strict Government reporting and compliance requirements.”

George Clement says the seafood industry has contributed millions of dollars to Department of Conservation science programmes and to other independent research.  This includes measuring and assessing the environmental effects of fishing, minimising any impact, and independently monitoring and auditing fisheries’ performance.


For more information:

George Clement CEO of the Deepwater Group

‘Ph 021 932 369021 932 369


For a short video illustrating the use of SLEDs, click here

New subantarctic marine reserves established

Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today formally established three new marine reserves covering 435,000 hectares of ocean surrounding the Antipodes, Bounty and Campbell Islands from Perseverance Harbour, Campbell Island. "The New Zealand Subantarctic Islands are one of the most pristine places on earth and these marine reserves are about keeping them that way. The marine reserve...
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Disease is killing 600 sea lion pups at the Auckland Islands each year

22 February 2014 Media Statement Embargoed to 9am Saturday 22 February 2014 Disease is killing 600 sea lion pups at the Auckland Islands each year. The disease Klebsiella pneumoniae is killing Auckland Island sea lions in unsustainable numbers. The Deepwater Group, which represents the squid fishing fleet off the Auckland Islands, has written to Conservation Minister Nick Smith on the eve of his departure...
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Stewart Island coastal clean-up: 20T of rubbish responsibly disposed

New Zealand is renowned for its scenic coastline but it’s not always as pretty as we may wish.  Various types of rubbish can be found washed up on our coasts, which is both unsightly and can create problems for the environment and wildlife. A committed group of local residents, council staff and fishermen have braved wild...
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Deepwater fishing industry opposes ‘destructive’ phosphate mining

A lobby group for the deepwater fishing industry says plans to mine seabed near the Chatham Islands will amount to wholesale environmental destruction. Chatham Rock Phosphate has been given a 20-year permit to mine 820 square kilometres of seabed on the Chatham Rise. A catch of hoki hauled into a ship in the Chatham Rise area. A catch...
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New Zealand’s global reputation for protecting oceans at risk

November 8 2013 New Zealand’s underwater ‘national parks’, known as Benthic Protection Areas (BPAs), have been recognised internationally as Marine Protected Areas. The seafood industry is concerned that a proposal to mine the central Chatham Rise will put this protection at risk. “I call on Ministers to stop this strip-mining project before it’s too...
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Audit supports industry actions to protect sea lions

6 November 2013 Measures adopted by the seafood industry to reduce sea lion captures in the southern blue whiting fishery have been supported in an independent review by global experts in sustainability. The measures in place include: real-time monitoring and responses, avoidance of nets on or near to the surface, management of offal discharges,...
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Orange roughy – a new chapter

  1 November, 2013 Orange roughy fishing began in New Zealand on the Chatham Rise in the late 1970s, developing in other areas within our Exclusive Economic Zone over the following two decades. Firm, moist white flesh, year-round availability and a mild flavour ensured orange roughy’s popularity in New Zealand and overseas. Catches peaked in the late...
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