The Environment Aotearoa Report 2019, released today by the Ministry for the Environment and StatsNZ, shows the environmental performance of New Zealand’s seafood industry has improved markedly.
Recognition of this is welcomed by the Deepwater Group, representing the deepwater seafood sector including quota owners harvesting hoki, hake, ling, southern blue whiting, squid, jack mackerel, orange roughy and oreo.
The report confirmed 97 percent of New Zealand’s catch came from sustainable stocks and bycatch had reduced.
For the deepwater fisheries, over 70 percent of catch has been independently certified to meet the highest international seafood sustainability standard, the Marine Stewardship Council.
This provides reassurance to customers around the world that they can buy New Zealand seafood with confidence knowing it is sustainable and improvements are continually being made.
The Deepwater Group has initiated and supported measures to improve environmental performance. This includes advocating for increased government observer coverage including up to 100 percent where required; implementing crew environmental training and manuals; employing an environmental liaison officer to be available 24/7 to respond to events or queries from crews; implementing mitigation to deter birds and marine mammals from vessels; as well as partnering with DOC and environmental groups to invest in conservation projects.
Deepwater Group CEO, George Clement, said the industry had and continues to improve, particularly over the last decade.
“The deepwater commercial sector recognises their businesses rely on a healthy marine environment and that they must do their part in conserving this.
“It is welcoming to see that the improvements made are paying off and that this is being recognised.
“We remain committed to New Zealand’s marine conservation and working with others to further improve this.”