28 February 2014

The Deepwater Group is to progress three oreo and two squid fisheries towards international Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) certification.

The chief executive of the Deepwater Group, George Clement, says this will bring 29 fisheries into the MSC programme, which represents 80 per cent of the deepwater catch.

“MSC certification of these fisheries will independently validate deepwater fishing in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as the best managed in the world,” George Clement says.

The Deepwater Group has embarked on an ambitious programme to have all its main fisheries assessed and certified as sustainable under the MSC’s programme, which is the international ‘gold standard’ for sustainable fisheries performance.

Five of New Zealand’s deepwater fisheries are currently certified, representing 58 per cent of the deepwater catch.  A further 19 fisheries are in assessment.

“As part of this process, fishing quota owners (through their representative organisation Deepwater Group) and the government (through the Ministry for Primary Industries) have a unique partnership that combines the best of public and private sector expertise,” George Clement says.

“This partnership brings together science-based, world leading and innovative solutions to ensure these fisheries and their impacts on the marine ecosystem are being managed cautiously and sustainably.”

These include:

  • setting aside 30 per cent of New Zealand’s EEZ as Marine Protected Areas to maintain ecosystem biodiversity on the seafloor
  • improving stock assessments; and
  • developing new technologies to measure stock sizes and to keep marine mammals from harm in trawl nets.

“Another key component is obtaining independent audits of our fisheries performance against the world’s best practise sustainability measures through MSC.  We look forward to progressing our plans for oreo and squid fisheries.”


For further information contact

George Clement

Phone 021 932 369021 932 369