Hoki quota owners continue to take conservative approach to fisheries management

7 October 2021

During 2021-22, owners of hoki quota have agreed that industry will continue to take a conservative approach to the management of these fisheries. The Minister has set the 2021-22 HOK 1 TACC at 110,000 tonnes (reduced from 115,000). Quota owners have agreed to again implement the following additional conservation measures:

•    Set the HOK 1 catch limit at 100,000 t by collectively shelving 10,000 t HOK 1 ACE 
•    Manage catches from HOK 1 East within a catch limit of 55,000 t
•    Manage catches from HOK 1 West within a catch limit of 45,000 t
•    Maintain current measures to reduce catches of small hoki
•    Maintain seasonal closures to reduce fishing activity on spawning hoki
•    Continue to support reviews of the science for hoki
•    Undertake a Management Strategy Evaluation, based on optimising resource sustainability and the economic returns to New Zealand

Over the past five or so years, many in the hoki fishery have expressed concerns with aspects of the performance of some of our four hoki fisheries.  In 2018, quota owners agreed that there was a problem, particularly with the performance (lack of abundance) of hoki in the WCSI fishery outside on the 25 nm line, and that management intervention was urgently required. 

In 2018-19, quota owners agreed to reduce their catches by 20,000 t and called for Fisheries New Zealand (FNZ) to undertake a fundamental review of the science underpinning the management of these important fisheries. 

Given the continued concerns over the performance of some hoki fisheries, quota owners agreed to reduce the catch limit by 15,000 t in 2019-20 and by a further 20,000 t in 2020-21.  As a result, industry reduced the hoki catch limit by 37 per cent (from 150,000 to 95,000 t.) over a four-year period.  During this period, the Minister reduced the TACC was from 150,000 t to 115,000 t.

FNZ has agreed to review the science and this process is ongoing. Quota owners are supporting FNZ in these review processes and we have invested in additional science projects, including a baseline genetics study using the best available techniques to establish stock structure on hoki in New Zealand waters.  Further investigations are required, and DWG is working with FNZ to ensure that these are continued during 2021-22.